Lewisham Bereavement Counselling
Lewisham Bereavement Counselling 

Lewisham Bereavement Counselling

 

0208 692 6252

Coping with grief

Losing someone you love is very painful. After a loss, you may experience all kinds of difficult and surprising emotions, such as shock, anger and guilt. Sometimes it may feel like the sadness will never let up. 

 

While these feelings can be frightening and overwhelming, they are normal reactions to loss. Accepting them as part of the grieving process and allowing yourself to feel what you feel is necessary for healing. 

 

There is no right or wrong way to grieve — but there are healthy ways to cope with the pain

Everyone grieves differently.

Grieving is a personal and highly individual experience. How you grieve depends on many factors, including your personality and coping style, your life experience, your faith, and the nature of the loss.

 

The grieving process takes time. Healing happens gradually; it can’t be forced or hurried – and there is no “normal” timetable for grieving. Some people start to feel better in weeks or months. For others, the grieving process is measured in years. Whatever your grief experience, it’s important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold.

Common symptoms of grief

While loss affects people in different ways, many people experience the following symptoms when they’re grieving. Just remember that almost anything that you experience in the early stages of grief is normal – including feeling like you’re going crazy, feeling like you’re in a bad dream, or questioning your religious beliefs.

Shock and disbelief. Right after a loss, it can be hard to accept what happened. You may feel numb, have trouble believing that the loss really happened, or even deny the truth. If someone you love has died, you may keep expecting them to show up, even though you know they’re gone. 

Sadness. Profound sadness is probably the most universally experienced symptom of grief. You may have feelings of emptiness, despair, yearning, or deep loneliness. You may also cry a lot or feel emotionally unstable.

Guilt. You may regret or feel guilty about things you did or didn’t say or do. You may also feel guilty about certain feelings (e.g. feeling relieved when the person died after a long, difficult illness). After a death, you may even feel guilty for not doing something to prevent the death, even if there was nothing more you could have done

Anger. Even if the loss was nobody’s fault, you may feel angry and resentful. If you lost a loved one, you may be angry at yourself, God, the doctors, or even the person who died for abandoning you. You may feel the need to blame someone for the injustice that was done to you.

Fear. A significant loss can trigger a host of worries and fears. You may feel anxious, helpless, or insecure. You may even have panic attacks. The death of a loved one can trigger fears about your own mortality, of facing life without that person, or the responsibilities you now face alone

Physical symptoms. We often think of grief as a strictly emotional process, but grief often involves physical problems, including fatigue, nausea, lowered immunity, weight loss or weight gain, aches and pains, and insomnia.

Get support

The single most important factor in healing from loss is having the support of other people. Even if you aren’t comfortable talking about your feelings under normal circumstances, it’s important to express them when you’re grieving. Sharing your loss makes the burden of grief easier to carry. Wherever the support comes from, accept it and do not grieve alone. Connecting to others will help you.

Finding support after a loss

Turn to friends and family members

Now is the time to lean on the people who care about you, even if you take pride in being strong and self-sufficient. Draw loved ones close, rather than avoiding them, and accept the assistance that’s offered. Oftentimes, people want to help but don’t know how, so tell them what you need – whether it’s a shoulder to cry on or help with funeral arrangements.

Draw comfort from your faith.

If you follow a religious tradition, embrace the comfort its mourning rituals can provide. Spiritual activities that are meaningful to you – such as praying, meditating, or going to church – can offer solace. If you’re questioning your faith in the wake of the loss, talk to a clergy member or others in your religious community.

Join a support group. Grief can feel very lonely, even when you have loved ones around. Sharing your sorrow with others who have experienced similar losses can help. To find a bereavement support group in your area, contact local hospitals, hospices, funeral homes, and counselling centres.

How to support a grieving person. 

If someone you care about has suffered a loss, you can help them heal by asking about their feelings, spending time just being with them, and listening when they want to talk.

Coping with grief
You can download this guide here.
Coping with grief.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [108.0 KB]
Print Print | Sitemap
© Lewisham Bereavement Counselling, Charity Registration No. 298997. All images supplied by www.pixabay.com