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Overcoming Grief


Losing a loved one is a tough thing to deal with no matter how old you are. It seems like nothing can prepare you for the feeling of grief. It is commonly known that there is no wrong or right way to grieve, and everyone grieves in their own way. You may feel shock, anger, disbelief, guilt, or extreme sadness. These feelings may make it very difficult to eat, sleep, think, go to work, or cook. It could disrupt the way you live your everyday life. It is natural to respond in this way after you lose someone.
Grief does not just show up when a loved one or something dies. It can also appear when you lose a job, lose financial stability, retire, divorce, or lose a friendship just to name a few. Though all of these events can trigger grief, the death of a loved one can cause the most intense grief. The way that you grieve and the time it takes you to get over that grief is an individual experience and not one way is right or wrong. There are typically five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Everyone gets through those stages in their own time. Some people might skip a few stages, and they may not happen in sequential order. One thing that is constant is the symptoms of grief.

Shock And Disbelief

These feelings may be synonymous with feeling numb. You may have trouble accepting and believing that the person or thing you lost is really gone. You may have difficulty wrapping your head around what happened that caused your loved one or thing to go. If you lost a job you have had for years, you may be expecting to get a call from your boss that a new position opened up that you would be perfect for. If you lost a loved one, you may be expecting them to show up or give you a call.

Sadness

This is one of the most common emotions associated with grieving because losing someone or something you held dear is painful. You could have feelings of deep loneliness, despair, emptiness, or even intense yearning for that person to come back. You may cry all day and night long, with no end in sight.

Guilt

Because you lose someone or something that meant so much to you, you may be thinking about ways you could have saved that person or thing. This could make you feel guilty or regretful. You may feel like there are things you should have said or things you should not have said. If that your loved one was suffering from a painful illness that caused them to suffer, you may feel relieved, or even glad, to see them die because you know they are not suffering anymore.

Anger

This feeling may come because you may be feeling angry with yourself, God, doctors, or anyone else involved. You may also be angry at the person who died. These feelings are normal and a part of the grieving process.

Fear

This is another emotion that is a part of the grieving process. Feelings of anxiety, helplessness, and insecurity may all make an appearance in your emotions because you may wonder about your own mortality. After the death of your loved one, you may feel afraid to face life without them.
Not only will you feel the emotional impact of grief, but sometimes you can feel the impact of grief physically. You may feel fatigue, nausea, lowered immunity, weight loss or weight gain, aches, and pains as well as insomnia. These might sound overwhelming to deal with by yourself, but here are some things that can help you overcome grief.
Seek and Accept Support. It may feel like you are on your own and you are the only one that has felt this way. Though you may be right, there are still people out there who may feel similarly if not the same way you feel. Do not be afraid to reach out to family members, friends, the church, or even a professional counselor. Grief may be an individualized experience, but you do not have to do it alone.
Accept Your Feelings. Do not deny that you are feeling grief. You are not considered weak for feeling the way that you do. You also should not run from the feeling. Embrace it and feel it. The only way out of grief is through it.
Remember and Celebrate. There is no shame in remembering the day you lost a loved one. Turn it into a day of celebration, in which you honor them and remember all the joy they brought. Give their burial site a visit, leave flowers near their headstone, or plant a garden in their memory.
Express Your Feelings. Do not keep your feelings locked away, never to be revealed until it brims over. If you need to cry, do it. If you need to scream, do it. If you need to punch something, do it. You must express your feelings. Get it out of your system. Write your feelings in a journal, sing your feelings through a song, paint, or draw your feelings. Express yourself even in grief.
Give Yourself Time. Give yourself grace and be patient with yourself. Understand that these are not feelings that will go away in a few days, weeks, or sometimes even months. Grieving takes time and it is solely based on the individual. Rest in the fact that you are getting through this tough time and you will make it through.
Stay Hopeful. Know that this feeling will not last forever. Continue taking steps toward recovery and you will get there in time. Love yourself, talk to a counselor if you need to, and remember to have fun in the midst of your grief.
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