Grief is inevitable in life, but knowing this does not take our pain away. Loss comes in all shapes and sizes and each of us processes death differently. When an immeasurable loss is experienced, it can feel like the pain will never go away. This may be true for some, and for others, time lessens the hurt. Some describe grief as coming in waves; one day the pain is distant and the next day the tide is rising uncontrollably. There is no one right way to deal with grief. Your grief is as unique as you are. I can tell you from personal experience that there can be a life worth living after the loss of a loved one; even if you don’t see it and it seems impossible right now.
How does the brain deal with grief?
It takes time to accept the reality that one of your loved ones is gone. The time spent together and the memories built may be constantly flashing through your mind. What once seemed like routine is now cherished deeply because it is the only thing you have left. You may spend your days trying to barter with God so he will bring your loved one back. This is one of the ways you may be dealing with the shock of what has happened.
The brain is often in shock and deals with grief as a learning experience. You may have asked yourself: How do I go on without you? How do I live in a world that doesn’t have you in it? As described by grief and bereavement specialist Mary-Frances O’Connor, grief is the overwhelming feeling you experience in the short term that takes over your whole being, and grieving is the learning experience that you go through as you make sense of what remains (American Psychological Association, 2022).
How do I cope with grief?
Everyone copes with grief in different ways. The first thing that others desire to do is provide advice to help us. However, what worked for them may not work for you and that is 100% okay. Coping in your own way that helps you heal is the most important thing to keep in mind. Below are a few coping strategies that may assist you in your healing:
- Finding a support group
- Seeking help from God
- Going to church
- Lighting a memory candle
- Practicing acceptance
- Writing a letter to the loved one you lost
What if I am not ready to heal?
It is okay to feel like you are not ready to let go or heal. It is also okay to be angry. I have been there, and it is an indescribable feeling that affects everyone in their own way. Despite how impossible it may seem now, acknowledging your feelings is the first step toward healing. We cannot accept what we do not acknowledge. Many people feel guilty when they try to move on with their lives, and this is a normal reaction as well.
If you feel lost, stuck, or devastated, you are not alone. Processing grief can be difficult and we understand this. You may be asking yourself, “What do I do now?” We are here to help you find answers to this question. At New Vision Counseling and Consulting, we have a team of compassionate and experienced therapists that will meet you where you are and help you get to where you want to be. Your therapist will sit with you in your pain as you grieve. They will help you discover how you need to grieve in a way that is unique and right for you. When you are ready, they will help you heal and build a life with the people that are here while honoring and holding the love in your heart for the person who is not. If you or someone you know is struggling with their grief, we are here for you. The next natural step is to invite us into your story by contacting us today. We look forward to hearing from you soon!