Moving on after losing a loved one is never easy. Wherever there has been deep emotions, like love and affection, there will be emptiness and grief in its absence. Adjusting to the reality of life without your loved one is not easy, quick, or predictable in its process. Healing from grief & loss is unique to each person and their journey.
Some people describe moments in their healing process as dissociative, while others feel shattered, or even confused by an odd sense of peace. If you’re on your healing journey, one thing you’ll definitely find is that staying busy or avoiding facing your grief does nothing but delay and prolong your suffering. It might be the hardest thing you can dream of doing, but embracing the natural ebb and flow of the grief process will help you heal better, faster, and more wholly from your loss. As you navigate this process with its inevitable ups and downs, Here’s What You Need To Know About Healing From Grief & Loss:
It’s normal to feel that no one understands exactly what you’re going through, but feeling completely cut off from healthy friendships and relationships with those who support you can lead to a downward spiral.
Grief is an unpredictable cycle. Remember that you are completely normal for having highs and lows that may at times cripple your productivity or hit you out of nowhere. Cut yourself some slack, and embrace the emotions so you can work through them instead of fighting or avoiding them.
Focus on the basics, like going to bed at a reasonable time; not drinking too much alcohol or turning to other substances for avoidance; taking time to move your body, and showing up for yourself where you can.
Grief can numb you to the point of feeling “spaced out” and missing things that are important to stay on top of for everyday life. Don’t be surprised if your list of daily to-do’s while you’re grieving includes things you never thought you’d have to write down, such as brushing your teeth, making your bed, or eating breakfast. Lists can really help keep you on track as you walk through the process of grieving.
Learn to be honest with yourself. Maybe that birthday party you committed to attending feels too overwhelming today. Maybe the deadline you set for yourself is too aggressive. Maybe you need more time before you can reconnect in the dating world. Whatever makes you feel anxious or overwhelmed, be honest with yourself and others about where you’re at, and what you need.
You’re going to need support in this challenging time, and it is helpful to have others keeping track of your health during a time of bereavement. They can ensure your own physical and mental health don’t slip as you work through grief’s ups and downs.
While it’s easy to get the two confused, grief and depression are in fact very different. Grieving can move you toward depressive episodes, however, and these can escalate over time if you don’t seek out support. The grief process can leave you disconnected from others, struggling with insomnia, motivation, healthy choices (eating, exercise, avoidance of drugs or alcohol), and not feeling present in your own life. It’s important to get the support of a licensed mental health professional if you’re noticing that your grief is driving destructive patterns in your life to the point of feeling depressed.