When we think of a person experiencing grief we naturally think about the death or loss of a loved one. Grief is experienced from the death of a person, but there are many other forms of death that can also lead to grief. Death is an ending of something. Therefore, we can go through grief when we lose something or someone that we hold dear, or experience the destruction or permanent ending of something.
Let’s look at where we have endings:
- Death of a loved one
- Marriage separation
- A relationship/friendship ending
- Selling the family home
- Loss of security and safety after trauma
Even leaving your job or graduation from school can be a reason to experience grief. The power that ending can have on our feelings and emotions cannot be underestimated.
THE FIVE STAGES OF GRIEF
These stages can be accompanied by many more feelings and emotions and may be experienced in any sequence.
HOW TO LIVE WITH DIFFICULT FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS
It’s important to acknowledge the feelings when going through grief so they can come out of the body. If emotions and feelings are being pushed down, other symptoms may appear in the future. If we try to hold our feelings down such as not crying or allowing the anger to be felt in a healthy way, they will surface and the body will only take so much before it has the potential to implode, like when a cork has been released from a champagne bottle.
Just allow the feelings to be present and accept them as part of the grieving process. The more we allow them to be when they show up, the less time they will potentially stay in the body.
If you know of someone who may be experiencing grief, encourage them that what he or she are feeling is normal and the feelings are ok. Let them feel that it’s all part of the grieving process, and to have acceptance of their experience.
Grief Counselling and Individual Counselling can be extremely helpful at this stage. The counsellor can support their feelings and help to understand and work through the grief. I personally have had many calls from concerned family members trying to support their loved one with their grief, they say they ‘ I feel helpless’ and ‘I don’t know what to do’ and that’s correct in most cases because they are not trained in grief and loss. If the car is broken, it doesn’t get taken to a family member to fix – you take it to a mechanic. The same goes for someone experiencing grief – the best course of action is to see a specialist in this field, a counsellor.