Coping With Grief
Sending you a hug Tracy. This is the first time in almost five years that I feel as though someone understands. My husband died on December 31, , and both my parents are gone only child. My photograph should be right smack dab in the middle of your blog, Tracy, because it describes me to a T. Thank you. Brilliant post guys. I can relate to a lot of this. Drinking too much, picking fights with people I care about, isolating myself, throwing myself in to work, keeping myself so busy I am physically and mentally exhausted — the list is endless!
The only thing I can say that is even remotely positive is that I am more self aware now. I know why I do these things and I am now doing my best to get on to more of an even keel. This blog has been so helpful and comforting to me this past year. I am so glad you feel like you have more insight and control now.
I think many of us spiral and hit a low ish point before we try and put things back together. Sometimes it feels necessary to destroy everything, before accepting that even if we reconstruct things they will never be something different entirely. Hi Eleanor, That is very true. I have pretty much hit the self destruct button this past year and not cared about anything apart from making sure my Mum is ok I lost my Dad. I do feel slightly more in control now, although the pain never goes away. I know my limitations but also try to push myself a little bit.
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Coping with grief
Your email: is required Error: This is required Error: Not a valid value. Send to: is required Error: This is required Error: Not a valid value. Allow yourself to grieve Exploring and expressing emotions can be a part of the healing process.
Create positive memories Honour the life of the person who has died. Look after your health Get some regular exercise , eat healthy food and make sure you have enough sleep. Surviving anniversaries Birthdays, anniversaries or holidays can trigger intense feelings of grief. Supporting someone through grief Initiate contact Get in touch and be available to spend time together.
Listen It can be difficult to know what to say, particularly if you have not experienced grief before. Do something together Spend some time doing ordinary and positive things like watching a movie, going for a walk or having a meal together. Practical help Cooking meals or looking after children can be a great gift to people dealing with grief.
Be aware Grief may last for a long time. As well as allowing you to impart practical information, such as funeral plans, these pages allow friends and loved ones to post their own tributes or condolences. Reading such messages can often provide comfort for those grieving the loss. Of course, posting sensitive content on social media has its risks. Memorial pages are often open to anyone with a Facebook account. This may encourage people who hardly knew the deceased to post well-meaning but inappropriate comments or advice.
Worse, memorial pages can also attract Internet trolls. There have been many well-publicized cases of strangers posting cruel or abusive messages on memorial pages. To gain some protection, you can opt to create a closed group on Facebook rather than a public page, which means people have to be approved by a group member before they can access the memorial. The stress of a major loss can quickly deplete your energy and emotional reserves.
Looking after your physical and emotional needs will help you get through this difficult time. Face your feelings. In order to heal, you have to acknowledge the pain. Trying to avoid feelings of sadness and loss only prolongs the grieving process. Unresolved grief can also lead to complications such as depression, anxiety , substance abuse, and health problems. Express your feelings in a tangible or creative way. Write about your loss in a journal.
Try to maintain your hobbies and interests. Look after your physical health. The mind and body are connected.
Combat stress and fatigue by getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising. These and other difficult emotions become less intense as you begin to accept the loss and start to move forward with your life. If the pain of the loss is so constant and severe that it keeps you from resuming your life, you may be suffering from a condition known as complicated grief.
Complicated grief is like being stuck in an intense state of mourning. You may have trouble accepting the death long after it has occurred or be so preoccupied with the person who died that it disrupts your daily routine and undermines your other relationships. But with the right guidance, you can make healing changes and move on with your life.
Remember, grief can be a roller coaster. It involves a wide variety of emotions and a mix of good and bad days. With depression, on the other hand, the feelings of emptiness and despair are constant. As a general rule, normal grief does not warrant the use of antidepressants. While medication may relieve some of the symptoms of grief, it cannot treat the cause, which is the loss itself.
Furthermore, by numbing the pain that must be worked through eventually, antidepressants delay the mourning process. Instead, there are other steps you can take to deal with depression and regain your sense of joy in life.
Dealing with your feelings
Left untreated, complicated grief and depression can lead to significant emotional damage, life-threatening health problems, and even suicide. But treatment can help you get better. Grief and Loss — A guide to preparing for and mourning the death of a loved one. Mayo Clinic. Buddha Dharma Education Association. In the U. Australia: GriefLine at 03 National Alliance for Grieving Children.