The Process of Grieving
posted: Aug. 09, 2022.
Are you in denial, experiencing anger, bargaining with others or your higher power, experiencing depression, or finally arrived at the state of acceptance?
These are all healthy signs that you're going through the process of grieving.
Many of us have never been taught about grief, what it is, and how to move through it. In a world in which we experience wars, traumas, separations, natural disasters, the loss of relationships, jobs, and death of family members and loved ones, we will likely experience loss at some point in our lives.
Grief is an intense emotional experience triggered by a loss. It can be overwhelming for some, but often feels like a deep and enduring sorrow that can last months or years. Because of the emotional intensity of grief, many people avoid feeling it through avoidance behaviors that keep us distracted or suppressing the emotion all together. However, unprocessed grief can wreak havoc on our lives and often manifest as depression and anxiety later on.
Grief can blow the lid off of our container of sanity, leaving us feeling powerless, vulnerable, and lost in a world without the person, place, or thing that is no longer with us. Grieving is a marathon not a sprint. Be incredibly gentle with yourself during this time. It's okay to not feel okay.
In order to give the incredible sorrow the time and space it deserves, we must create a safe environment. This means that for our stability and mental health, we must take care of our basic needs first before addressing the despair, hopelessness, fear, and depression. Many people bypass grief because when they lose someone, they are consumed with taking care of the real life aftermath of loss, whether that's financial, housing, employment, getting food, etc. and do not have space for the debilitating sorrow in a fight or flight state. Some people put grief down until it is safe to pick it back up at a later time. For others they are grief-stricken and have to address it immediately. When your basic needs are met and you are in a more stable place, practice moving through the grief through ritual and intentional practices. Ritual can be culture specific or you can find rituals online that appeal to you. The purpose of intentional practice and ritual is to honor the loss and the grief during dedicated times. Because grief can make us feel powerless, giving intentional time and space to the grief helps us work through it on our terms. Most importantly, you will need the love of community during this difficult time. Do not go at it alone, surround yourself with the love of others to aid you in this brave journey of the broken heart.
Want to talk to a therapist about loss, grief, change, or transition in your life? Visit our website to book an appointment at https://www.daybreakcounselingcenter.com/appointment/