Dealing with Grief
The death of a loved one casts one into foreign territory. There is no map, no direction, it can feel like quicksand at every turn and it can be very dangerous for some. How grief is felt is different for every person, and for every loss in our life. Thankfully we aren’t always consciously aware that grief and loss are part of everyday life for many people. Over a lifetime we experience many losses. Loss is the disappearance of something cherished, such as a person, possession, position or property. There are many different types of loss which are part of the process of living. Although many of these may be related to minor aspects of our life they may still affect us in varying degrees. We know that many losses that occur during childhood and adolescent years can remain unresolved as we move into adult years.
Even though some of these losses may occur when we are under the age of ten we might still be grieving about them, consciously or subliminally, well into our senior years. I think healthy grief enables one to maintain a continuing bond with the deceased the process of grieving proceeds with a person retelling the stories of their loved one. A loss never stops being a loss. Even when we recover from it to the point where we can function, the most we can hope for is that it can eventually be integrated into our ongoing life. However, our life won’t ever be the same again, so we need to learn to adapt to our life without that person, understanding that there will be a new ‘normal’.
It is important to surround yourself with people who will assist and support you in the recovery process. This may be formally, informally, socially or professionally. Your wider community of family and friends will hopefully be there for you when you need them.
Finding a good grief counsellor may also be advisable if you find you are not coping. Specialist bereavement services for individuals, children and families who need assistance following the death of someone close to them are a good source of support and advice.
My book covers how to look after yourself and offers a list of various support groups.