When we go through a loss, whether that means losing a job, your best friend, your pet, a relationship or a family member, there are a lot of common emotions that come to the surface.
Understanding our emotions during grief will help us heal and learn to move through our grief with the grace.
Tangled up in loss are often feelings of sadness, grief and even the flipside, joy and happiness. Oftentimes we believe that grief has to look a certain way and that only certain emotions can up, yet that isn’t quite the case. We look at society and how they have taught us to not show emotions freely, yet this is where the beauty of feeling ALL emotions comes in. This way, we can start to recognise the different signs and the naturalness of feeling these emotions. No two people will grieve the same.
Emotions aren’t static. This means that even though we may be grieving, some moments we can feel happy while other moments we might feel at the depth of despair and everything looks very dreich.
Although this is a harsh emotion to feel, remember that feeling sad and despair is normal and if we allow ourselves to fully feel it, the feeling will pass much quicker and new content will arise. This may be a different emotion of sadness, a different hue or note, that might not be quite so crippling. Again it is key to allow yourself to feel it and notice what thoughts and body sensations arise as you feel that emotion. The important thing to remember is to give yourself permission to be sad, in all its ways! To show others that we are hurting gives them permission to be with us in that sadness, without needing to fix us or try to help make the pain go away.
While grieving a loss is an inevitable part of life, there are ways to help cope with the pain, come to terms with your grief, and eventually, find a way to pick up the pieces and move on with your life.
Acknowledge your pain, truly. You may notice where it shows up in your body and what thoughts and emotions arise.
Accept that grief can trigger many different and unexpected thoughts and emotions.
Understand that your grieving process will be unique to you, and do not judge others that their way of grieving may be different than yours.
Seek out face-to-face help from people who care about you, being with loved ones helps. Accept gifts such as a casserole or a dinner invitation. Loneliness can set in easily when we isolate ourselves.
Support yourself emotionally by taking care of yourself physically. Make sure you eat and move. Go on walks where you can let your emotions rip without the fear of someone overhearing. You may want to get a punching bag to use for emotional release.
Allowing grief to be our teacher, to have us feel each and every moment, the uniqueness of each and every present moment is priceless. We become more focused on gratitude for having known this person, situation or whatever the cause of the grief is and see the goodness that has come into our lives.
Remember, you do not have to do this alone. There are many therapist, coaches and groups out there who specialise in helping people through this.