No one in the world is immune to loss. It’s something that everyone experiences at one point or another. It is as natural as the universe itself and exists wherever we can form attachments and connections. We might experience loss when a relationship breaks down or when something in our professional life doesn’t work out the way we wanted it to.
Loss can also come to us more ambiguously. Sometimes, we feel loss even with people we’ve actually never met or have only interacted with minimally. We can also feel loss towards our pets, special places or objects, or anything that has meant something to us.
Whatever the tragedy, one thing is for certain: whenever we experience loss, we grieve. We must grieve, as the process of mourning helps us come to terms with our emotions, regain balance, and start to accept the loss. Grieving is the first step towards letting go, and we need to grieve to heal and begin to move forward in life again.
Getting grief support can be one of the most constructive ways that you can grieve, regardless of the type of loss that you’ve suffered. Beyond that, here are a few other things you can do to cope with loss and grieve in a productive manner:
Talk to Someone
Far too many of us have been raised to believe that inner strength is synonymous with stoicism. Even as children, we were told by our elders and peers to suck it up and deal with our difficulties in silence. This behavior carries well into adulthood, which explains why so many of us struggle with expressing our emotions, whatever they may be.
Wary of being chastised or mocked, a lot of us tend to keep our feelings bottled up inside instead. We don’t give ourselves enough space to just talk about what bothers us, seeing it as a sign of weakness. But it’s so important to permit yourself to speak out about the things that trouble you, especially when you’re grieving.
That being said, it may be beneficial to get some assistance through professional support. End of life doula support, widow bereavement support, or whatever type of therapy fits your situation best can help you resolve those feelings of loss healthily and constructively. From guiding and directing your grief to enable you to feel and process your emotions, assistance from a grief support practioner can prove invaluable as you heal your emotional wounds, and forge a new life past the loss.
Rely on Your Friends and Family if you can
Some of the most common coping mechanisms that we default to when dealing with loss and grieving can actually be hindering us from true healing. Indeed, a lot of people tend to indulge in shallow distractions or dive headfirst into work after they’ve suffered a loss. They do this because they don’t want to become a burden to others. However, it prevents them from really feeling the void in their life—a critical step towards letting go and moving on.
Humans are innately social creatures who naturally need each other to survive and thrive in the world. And when you’re reeling from loss, there are no better humans to be around than those who love you the most.
Your friends and family members will be expecting you to feel depressed and out of sorts or they may be pressuring you to move on. They may not know what to do, but they will want to help in any way they can. Tell them how they can be most helpful to you.
Be Gentle with Yourself
Any type of loss can cause us to feel out of balance and rob us of our sense of safety. For some reason, though, a lot of people still beat themselves up for having this natural reaction. Much of it can be traced back to societal pressures. Not wanting to burden others with our grief makes us turn our negative emotions inward; we then start to feel guilty about having them in the first place.
What you need to understand about grief and pain is that it’s perfectly valid, regardless of the type of loss you’ve suffered. There’s no such thing as too much grief. And remember you are not responsible for how others feel about your grieving process. You do not have to move on at anyone else’s behest but your own.
Be gentle with yourself. Give yourself time to come to terms with the loss as well as its aftershocks. Accept that some types of hurt will take longer to mend and that moving on doesn’t necessarily mean the end of grief, either.
Grieving is a deeply personal process; how you cope with loss will be unique to you and only you. There is no timeline nor any hard and fast rules. However, when you take care of yourself and give yourself the space to mourn, you’re allowing yourself to take a step closer towards peace and acceptance.
Do you need someone to be there for you during your grieving process? Then get in touch with Mary Jo Rathgeb today.