The best way I can describe my experience with grief is feeling like I am stuck in a dark void of silence. On the inside, I can feel myself screaming, but no one can hear me. I have found that loss can be lonely even when you’re in a crowded room surrounded by others. You may get lost in your thoughts and lose track of time until you are reminded of the harsh truth that grief has invaded every fiber of your being. Grief can also upset our sense of time and reality. You may even find yourself ruminating on two aspects of time, before your loss and after. The before is filled with happiness, memories, and a sense of belonging. The after may feel like a lonely place that causes you to second-guess every aspect of your life. If you are struggling with your after, this message is for you.
Grieve in your own way
Everyone handles their grief differently and it is important that you deal with your feelings in your own way. There is no timeline or roadmap for how grief should affect you. It is normal to feel lost or even numb. The numbness scares many people because they fear that something is wrong with them or that their loss broke them. However, numbness after loss, though scary, is actually a common experience. It is your mind’s way of defending your body from the immeasurable pain you are dealing with. This is why it is important to take grief day by day. Do not force yourself to feel a certain way or condemn yourself for how you are choosing to deal with your grief. Others may not understand, but they don’t have to.
Reach out for support
When you lose a loved one, it is natural to feel like you need to deal with your feelings on your own. Though it is important to take time for yourself, don’t get stuck there. Isolating yourself from the world only makes your return to daily life more difficult. It is helpful to talk to others who have gone through loss because their experiences can bring you comfort. Many find solace in grief counseling or bereavement groups. There are different forms of bereavement groups and it is helpful to find one that pertains to your circumstances. Some specialized groups are for those mourning the loss of a spouse, child, or parent, to name a few. When you connect with others who share your pain, you find a whole new level of healing. Many know the agony of loss and can deeply relate to what you are going through. This gives you the freedom to simply be.
Find a routine
During times of loss, keeping a routine helps to recover some sense of stability in your life. You may not feel like doing anything, and that is okay, but eventually you can find healing. When that day comes, it is helpful to have an established plan to help you keep moving. One day, you will look back and realize that going through the motions of your routine is what saved you. When an immeasurable loss is experienced, it is common for people to experience depression. You may not feel like getting out of bed or even eating, but it is important to take care of yourself during these times. You may be asking yourself, “What’s the point?” And if so, you are not alone. Many struggle to pick up the pieces after loss, but it is possible.
Roll with the waves
As a person who has experienced grief, I can honestly tell you that it comes in waves. This is a common experience for those who are mourning the loss of a loved one. Some days it feels like the waves are crashing over you and you can’t catch your breath. Other days it feels like the tide is slowly ebbing and flowing and your pain subsides to a dull ache felt in the background of life. These are the days when grief seems manageable and you may even feel like you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t become discouraged when the high tide of pain returns. This is a normal process and your experiences will vary from day to day. It is important to acknowledge where you are and feel the pain. This gives the mind and body permission to heal at their own pace.
If you are struggling to find your new normal and need help navigating the loss of a loved one, we have a team of highly trained therapists who can guide you through your journey. Grief can be lonely, and it is easy to feel like others don’t understand, but we pride ourselves on being transparent and compassionate.We want you to know that you don’t have to face this alone. Whether you are interested in learning skills to cope with your pain, seeking help in processing your complex grief, or simply want to understand your feelings, we are here to help. We provide a comforting environment where you can feel free to express all of your feelings, even the ones that you are afraid or ashamed to acknowledge. If you are ready to learn how to navigate your grief with a personalized counseling experience then we are here for you. Our team of compassionate therapists will walk WITH you through this season and stay by your side through this difficult time. The next step is to invite us in by calling (405)-921-7776 learn more about how we can help.