There is no ‘normal’ way to grieve and there’s no ‘getting over it’. There are as many ways to grieve as there are people in the world. It is a unique process – everyone’s experience is different and everyone’s experience is valid.
Here are three things you should know about the grieving process.
1. Grief can physically hurt
The loss of a loved one turns your world upside down. Coping with what was once routine, becomes exhausting. The simplest tasks becomes daunting. And it not only affects us emotionally, but also physically. Grief can be like a serious illness. Exhaustion, distraction, disorientation, sleeplessness and poor appetite are all common symptoms. It’s important to be aware of these symptoms and understand that they will pass as you work your way through your grief.
2. Grief doesn’t have a timeline
These days we’re used to scheduling so many parts of our lives, but grief doesn’t make an appointment. Every grief is different, just as every death and every mourner is different. There is no ‘normal’ timeframe for your grief and that’s OK. No one can tell someone else when it’s time to finish grieving. It’s a personal journey. It takes as long as it takes.
3. Grief is not a tidy five-stage process
We’ve all heard of the five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. But while these are all normal emotions to feel when grieving, they are generally not experienced in that order and they don’t all last the same amount of time. And once you’ve experienced one, it doesn’t mean that it won’t make an appearance again down the road. Grief has many aspects and you’ll experience many emotions. So don’t expect that you’ll just be able make your way through five stages and then be done with it. Grief is unpredictable and inconsistent. You need to let it be whatever it needs to be.
If you need help coping with grief, contact us by emailing [email protected].