is often an intense and personal experience. Grief reactions are not only emotional, they are also physical, mental and spiritual. Below are just a few of the many reactions that people have expressed to me after they have lost a loved one. Have you had any similar reactions?
- How will I manage without her?
- I just can’t sort through his belongings.
- Nothing feels real to me.
- I feel so angry at everyone lately, even my loved one and God.
- I should have done more, maybe I could have prevented the death.
- I keep looking for him in crowds. He isn’t there, of course, am I crazy?
- Will I ever be able to sleep through the night again without feeling lonely and sad?
Grief is a natural reaction to loss. People who have worked through their grief often say that they feel stronger and more capable than before the loss occurred. Healing grief allows you integrate the past so you can live in the present and have hopes for the future. It can open you up to new possibilities and relationships and give you a greater sense of yourself.
This is not to say that grief is an easy experience to endure. It takes time and in fact, it is often painful. While it is a natural process, people often seek counseling to deal with a loss. As an experienced grief counselor, I can help at any stage of the grieving process, whether it’s immediately after the death or months or even years later.
- Identify Support People – share your grief with supportive people: family, friends, clergy or professionals.
- Express Your Grief – You will experience a wide range of feelings as you grieve including love, hate, anger, sadness, and guilt. Express these feelings and share your memories.
- Practice Self Care – Grieving is hard work. It will affect you physically as well as emotionally. Eat healthfully and try to get enough rest. Keep your medical appointments.
- Seek Out Information – Read books, join a group, talk with others to learn how they cope.
- Consider Grief Counseling – Grief counseling can help you address issues related to your loss and assist in the healing process.