Grief & Bereavement

Grief and Depression are unwanted reminders of your loss and if after a period of time you’ve found that grief is stopping you from functioning normally, it may be that you’re suffering from depression brought on by your bereavement.

Everybody has their own way of experiencing and expressing grief, and with this in mind, each person will have their own natural pace of coming to terms with their loss. It’s inevitable that during the grieving process, periods of sadness and anxiety will take hold, while you come to terms with the reality of not seeing your deceased partner again.

However, this usually leads to a period of acceptance and a willingness to move forward again. If this is not forthcoming and the depression persists, it may be necessary to seek professional help to ensure you’re getting all the support you need.

Talking with a doctor and/or grief counsellor will enable you to reveal what is stopping you from moving forward and explore any underlying emotions that may yet to be expressed.

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Letting a widow or widower know you’re there for them can be enough to help them get through any difficult times. Arranging to meet or speak at a regular time each day, week or whenever, can help them keep a structure to their life, as well as giving them something to focus on.

Including them in invitations and gatherings, while not putting any pressure on them to actually attend, can act as a useful measure for how they’re feeling and whether they’re ready to move on and reconnect.

Also, offering support with any practicalities of their life may be welcomed, providing it’s done in a way that does not come across as interfering. Making yourself available in this way can give them the space to grieve without feeling weighed-down with any pressing tasks that could easily be carried out by someone else.

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When supporting someone who is going through the grieving process, the best thing you can do is listen. By simply listening to whatever it is they have to say, without trying to pass any judgement or steer the conversation in a particular direction, you give the person grieving the opportunity to come to terms with what has happened. Giving somebody the space to express how they’re feeling can act as an important part of their healing process, helping to soothe their pain and unlock any further emotional experiences.

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There is a range of views on the different stages of grief.

In their book ‘On Grief & Grieving’, authors Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler define five different stages of grief as follows:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

Here, they define these five different stages as part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost’. Rather than being a linear step-by-step process, they act as an outline to help identify the emotions being experienced.

With this in mind, each stage can encompass other stages unique to your own life experiences and set of circumstances.

For example, between the stages of Bargaining and Depression, there can be a period of Reflection, where you seek time alone to gain perspective on what has happened and how it fits into the broader narrative of your life.

Similarly, between the stages of Depression and Acceptance, there can be an ‘upward turn’, period of growth, where new found hope can begin to manifest as you witness life moving on around you.

By maintaining a healthy daily routine, the different stages of grief can be experienced in a way most natural to you.

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The length of time it takes for somebody to go through the grieving process is specific to each individual. After the initial experience of losing someone close to you, there can be a period of time when you’re slowly coming to terms with the fact they are no longer around. Gradually you will find yourself rebuilding a new way of life without them.

Your grief is as unique as you are and the process of accepting a person’s death needs time. When feelings of grief manifest, it’s best to go with what feels natural and not enforce any specific time period for overcoming the emotions you’re feeling.

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Knowing how to grieve is a crucial factor following bereavement and it’s not a good idea to put any particular time limit on how long your grieving process might last. As much as it’s important to heal and move forward with your life, it’s not necessary to impose any time scale on how and when you expect to feel better.

Letting your grief take it’s time and flow naturally, will allow any pain and sorrow to manifest of their own accord, rather than suppressing feelings in the hope they will go away. If you have children, it can be natural to want to remain strong and in control of what is going on around you, but it’s important to maintain a keen awareness of your own feelings and emotions.

When someone you love dies, the experience can bring with it an opportunity to reflect upon your own life and reassess what is of most significance. Going for long walks surrounded by nature, spending quality time with those close to you and writing down any thoughts that come to mind are all actions that will help you to heal your heart and to rediscover your drive.

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How to deal with grief is a personal process; where coming to terms with the sorrow and facing up to the future is something that can only happen when you’re fully ready.

Giving yourself over to the grieving process can itself prove challenging, especially if you have children to support and other responsibilities to take care of.

Writer on loss and grief, Elaine Mansfield, provides a range of useful suggestions, including the importance of connecting with nature on a daily basis. Also, upping your exercise regime, reaching out to others who are in need, and re-organising and re-arranging your home. These are all distractions, which can help to take your mind off of your grief, while achieving a useful and potentially practical or helpful outcome in the process.

There can also be something said for writing things down. There are many testaments to the benefits of keeping a journal or blog to help arrange thoughts and build a clearer picture of how you’re feeling. Going back and reading over how you were feeling can also help you to see how you’re progressing, and to look back on how far you’ve come.

Category: Grief

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Grief counselling is a form of therapy where a grieving person seeks the support of a qualified counsellor to navigate their way through the changes brought about with the loss of a loved one.

Everybody grieves differently and at their own pace. Having a grief counsellor on hand to help with the different stages of emotion can be beneficial, allowing the person to understand and reflect upon their emotions in a healthy and sensitive way.

Grief counsellors can also help the person adapt to their new set of circumstances; providing them with a framework to embrace any uncertain feelings gently, and resolving any issues yet to be explored.

 

Category: Grief

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Grief counselling is a form of therapy where a grieving person seeks the support of a qualified counsellor to navigate their way through the changes brought about with the loss of a loved one.

Everybody grieves differently and at their own pace. Having a grief counsellor on hand to help with the different stages of emotion can be beneficial, allowing the person to understand and reflect upon their emotions in a healthy and sensitive way.

Grief counsellors can also help the person adapt to their new set of circumstances; providing them with a framework to embrace any uncertain feelings gently, and resolving any issues yet to be explored.

 

Category: Grief

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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