At some point in our lives we will all lose someone we love, though death, moving away or relationship breakdown. So we will all feel grief and the pain, but what exactly is grief?
Grief is a strong, sometimes overwhelming emotion for people, regardless of what caused their grief. Grief is the natural reaction to loss. Grief is both a universal and a personal experience. Individual experiences of grief vary and are influenced by the nature of the loss. But the one thing all types of grief have is you simply cannot control it, there are no timescales, no particular way to deal with it and no pattern. This may be why we find grief so difficult.
There are five stages to grief and you may go through all of them you may not, you may go straight to one stage and follow it or you may spend longer on one stage than the other. The key to understanding the stages is not to feel like you must go through every one of them, in precise order. Instead, it’s more helpful to look at them as guides. Remember your reactions may be different from other peoples, you may cry more or less; you may be angry or even depressed. Trust yourself to feel and be in the now with your feelings as you feel the grief.
The first stage is shock, you simply cannot believe that you have lost someone or something, everything can feel unreal, you can feel numb, with drawn, detached, lost and have no idea what to do with yourself. You feel trapped in a nightmare, you cannot escape and this brings with it anger, guilt and shame.
Then you find yourself in denial, as the shock wears off you go to a place where you ignore the pain of your loss, you start to search - believing you have seen the dead person or spoken to them on the phone - so that cannot be dead or missing can they? Some people will talk out loud to the person they have lost keeping them close.
Anger and guilt may then follow, anger at the person for leaving you, anger at why this happened, you may ask questions like 'why me?' ,'why now' .It is common for you to look for someone to blame including yourself, leading then to lots of guilt following the anger.
Depression often follows as the situation becomes reality, you now know that they have gone and are not going to return.
You may feel there is little purpose in life and nothing of interest in the outside world. You may even question your sanity and think that you are going mad. Don’t worry this is a common occurrence.
As time passes you begin to accept your loss, you can think about your loss without feeling depressed or in despair, you have good memories and are happy to share them.
Find someone to talk to, a counsellor or good friend, don't be afraid of your feelings and be gentle with yourself. Don’t listen to people who tell you to get on with life, you will recover from your loss in your own time.
Love and light