Most of us have experienced the painful loss of a family member, friend, colleague, or pet.
Grief can feel so overwhelming, isolating, and confusing – leaving a person wondering if and how they will ever get through it.
It’s a topic associated with pain, and because pain is uncomfortable many people avoid talking or sharing about it.
This creates a silent agreement among many to avoid facing grief until it finally confronts us, and we have no choice but to swim in an ocean of loss. Here are a few important things to know about grief, whether you are experiencing it yourself or want to support someone who is in the process of grieving.
- Your grief is as unique to you as your fingerprint, influenced by the many beliefs, values, and behaviors that make you who you are.
- There is no “right way” to grieve. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all roadmap to guide you through grief, however many people experience the following stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and/or acceptance. Different people experience these stages in various orders, with some stages repeating, and some lasting longer than others.
- Different things impact how you experience your grief – the nature of your relationship with that person/pet, how long they’ve been in your life, how they died, how you found out about their death, and your beliefs about death and the afterlife, to name just a few.
- Finding support is an important part of healing, whether it is in the form of self-care, a hug, conversation, listening ear, or silent company of a family member or friend, a support group with others who are grieving, or a therapist to accompany you in your process.
Therapy can be a comforting space to explore and better understand your unique experience of grief without judgment or the pressure to quickly get through it.
Sometimes it may be difficult to even know what you are feeling and why, what it is you need from others, or how to ask others for what you need.
You may be struggling with how to simply function day to day, or how to cope with the reality of a future without your loved one in it.
I would be honored to support you as you grieve and honor your loved one, and learn to how to live moving forward with your loss.