We all experience grief at some stage in our life. Whether it is the death of a partner, the termination of a marriage, or the death of someone in your family the affects can be distressing. You will likely feel a mixture of sadness, numbness and anger, with your emotions often going round in circles. There is no easy way to deal with grief, but with the support of your partner, friends and family it can be made easier. If someone close to you is suffering from bereavement, then you can also be of great support to them.
The way grief makes you feel
Although we all experience and deal with grief on our own terms, there are certain emotions and behaviours that we all typically encounter. The order in which you experience them will vary:
- Shock - When we first hear about a death we are initially shocked. This can last for a long period of time, depending on the individual.
- Sadness - Rather than holding your emotions in, expressing your sadness can help to ease your grief.
- Anger - When we experience grief we often look for someone to blame for what has happened. This may result in you blaming your partner, for example, if you were with them when the person passed away. This is completely normal, but can be hurtful to others.
- Numbness - Becoming numb to emotion may just be your way of coping with loss.
- Depression - In certain cases, the death of a loved one can lead to feelings of depression. This can have a dramatic affect on your life, as it can have an effect on your work and relationship. If you feel that you are suffering from depression then you should see your local GP.
The different types of grief
The origin of your grief will have an impact on how you feel and act:
- Parent passed away - This is something we all have to come to terms with at some time. If it is your partner’s parent who has passed away, then offer your support, but try not to intrude upon such a personal affair.
- Partner passed away - This is an event that can see many people retreat into their own little world. But through the support of your family and friends, and, if needed, a therapist, you can make it through this tough time.
- Miscarriage - This is grief not only affecting women, but also men, who are often left to the side at such times. Losing a baby through miscarriage, or possibly, through a decision of termination if your baby was found to have an incurable illness, is something no parent wants to deal with. By supporting one another you can learn to come to terms with your loss.
- Death of a child - No parent wants to outlive their child. Parents may experience the feelings caused by grief at differing levels and stages. By offering support, and working to keep things ticking over, you can make it through this tough time.
- Divorce - Separation from a loved one, particularly if it is not of your choosing, can cause people great distress. This is a time when the support, and company, of friends and family can be of great help. Try to think of it as a new beginning.
How to cope with grief
There is no trick to coping with grief, but hopefully the following tips will be of some assistance:
- Rest - Grieving can use up a lot of energy, and you need to ensure you get enough rest. If you are having trouble sleeping then your local GP can help.
- No set limit - There is no designated time by which you should stop grieving. Only you can know when you are ready to move on.
- No right way - We all deal with grief on our own terms. Do not expect your partner to cope with things in the same manner as you do.
- Communication - Coping with grief is a period of time when it is best to communicate your thoughts and feelings. Try not to lock yourself off from one another.
- Getting back to normality - Returning to your routine can help to ease some of the strain. But it is best to give yourself some time off work.
- Together and apart - Try and spend time with one another, such as going for a walk in the park. It is also a good idea to give one another some space.
- Don’t be hasty - Don’t make any drastic life changes during a time of grief. This can result in you making a decision you may regret.
- Blame - Do not blame your partner for what has happened. This can only lead to further problems in your relationship.
- Demonstrate your love - Discreetly let your partner know that you are there for them, and that you will always love them. Merely running your hands through their hair can display your affection.
Having difficulty coping?
If you are having difficulty coping with grief, then a therapist can be of assistance. They can help you to communicate your thoughts and feelings, and to come to terms with your loss. You can visit a therapist as a couple, or, as an individual
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