Grief and Loss
Updated: Sep 16, 2021
Losing a loved one is a hard experience. The emotions can be overwhelming, even resulting in depression. It’s easy to find ourselves pushing others away while we struggle to figure out how to express all that we feel. In our grief, it can feel as if the world is moving forward while leaving us behind. Here are some thoughts to help you manage through your loss:
Grief is a journey:
Losing somebody is an ongoing process. It does not happen all at once. Instead, it takes time to work through all the painful feelings of the loss. As time moves on, new issues come up related to the loss. These have to be dealt with each step of the way. Even when we find peace with a loss, feelings of sorrow still arise that we must continue to work through.
Talk to someone:
If you have a friend or spouse available to you, open up to them about your loss. This is also a great role for a therapist who is able to provide a private space in which to express your feelings. If we bury our emotions, we remain locked in a perpetual state of grief. This leads to unpredictable depression and anxiety that often comes at poor times, such as the holidays. When we talk about and express our feelings, we allow them to reach completion so that we can find peace.
Create space to grieve:
Avoiding grief is like filling a sponge with water. If you don’t squeeze the water out, it will begin to pour out everywhere. When we set aside time to feel our emotions, we are allowing space to connect with important feelings that need to be expressed. When we avoid these feelings, they begin to come out in unhealthy ways. If you find yourself feeling angry, bitter, or completely shut down after a loss, it may be an indication that you are not giving yourself enough space to properly grieve.
If you have had a major loss and feel you are struggling to properly grieve, seek guidance from a therapist to help you through your loss. Grief is hard, but it can be rewarding to find peace and feel you are able to honor the one you love.
Prolonged grief (or complicated grief) can lead to depression. If you are unsure whether your grief has developed into depression, consider reading this article: What is Depression. This may also be reason to seek counseling.
Divorce also requires grief work. Here is more help if going through a divorce.