Throughout the course of our years, we all experience the deep grief of losing a loved one to death or the loss of someone or something important to us. In fact, statistics show that 1 in 5 children will experience the death of someone close to them before 18 years of age. As we age, it becomes inevitable that grief will become a regular part of living. Feelings of grief and loss are not always associated with death, however, but commonly surface after a loss of some kind – whether it is the loss of a loved one, a severed relationship, a pregnancy, a pet, or a job. In our older years, it is common to grieve not only the loss of family and peers, but the loss of our younger selves and the loss of dreams unrealized.
When a person is grieving, it can be overbearing. Grief can leave a person feeling sad, hopeless, isolated, irritable, and numb by affecting them mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. It’s important to understand that healing from grief is a process and everyone copes with this emotion differently.
Many people don’t know what to say or do when a person is grieving but be sure to have patience with the individual (including yourself) throughout the entire process.
Through psychotherapy, a client may:
- Improve coping skills
- Reduce feelings of blame and guilt
- Explore and process emotions
- Gain hope and a plan for a new future
Feelings of grief can be overwhelming, and it can be hard to know how to manage and overcome these emotions. It is important to have patience with yourself and others during this process as it is a healthy part of healing. If you are having trouble coping on your own, or know of someone who could use extra support during the grief process consider booking a 15 minute free consultation.
There is no orderly process of passing through stages of anger, denial and acceptance. Everyone experiences loss differently based on their personality, culture, and beliefs, among many other factors.
Common symptoms of grief include:
- Shock and disbelief: feeling numb about the event, having trouble believing it happened, denying it, or expecting to suddenly see the person you lost.
- Sadness: crying, or having feelings of emptiness, despair, yearning, or loneliness.
- Guilt: regret over things unsaid or undone, feeling responsible for the death or the event, or shame from feeling relieved by a person’s passing.
- Anger: blaming someone for injustice.
- Fear: feelings of anxiety, helplessness, and insecurity, or having panic attacks.
- Physical symptoms: fatigue, nausea, weight loss or gain, aches and pains, and insomnia.
Coping with Grief and Loss
An important part of healing is knowing that you are not alone. Seek support from your friends, family, or faith, and join a bereavement support group. Sharing your loss can make the grieving process easier. Remember to take care of yourself; to eat, sleep, and exercise even when you’re too stressed or fatigued to do so. A healthy alternative is to seek professional therapy. Here at All Heart, you will find a compassionate place for healing.