The Importance of Grief and Moving through
- Don’t Grieve alone – seek help from others
- Give yourself permission to cry
- The Importance of Emotions
- Completing unfinished Business
Grief – Not a time for Etiquette
A few years ago in just one moment my life went from a normal day at the office into shock, disbelief, anger, guilt, shame, fear and sadness. All classic symptoms of grief, the cause, my Dad died before I got to the hospital. My life was forever different, I would be changed by the event. I just didn’t know by how much.
Fast forward to now, I changed careers and am now a Grief Coach. I want to accompany others through this extremely emotional and confusing time. Thoughts such as what will your new life look like without them? That person was always there regardless of your relationship with them. There was comfort in knowing you were not alone. It is time to reach out to friends and family and talk about it. This helps make it real for you.
Your first reaction may be denial, to run away or get caught up in the business of work life, neither of these will not bring relief. It will be a distraction and a way your emotions will be held at bay and not dealt with. These aren’t ways out, I know I have been there. This will only help keep you in this state or you could fall into a depression and not want to get out of bed. You may feel alone and don’t turn to others because they wouldn’t understand or wouldn’t know how to help you. This approach doesn’t work either. The saying speaks for itself “Misery loves company”. The longer you remain alone, the worse you are actually going to feel. Two to 3 weeks are considered OK anything longer is time to seek medical help.
When Grief strikes it is so much better if you can accept whatever it is you are feeling. It is where you are at right now in this moment. Be kind to yourself and recognize no amount of reproach will bring the person back. It is the connection to that person and what that person meant to you in your life that is causing the pain and heartache. It will take your brain and heart time to accept.
Grief is like starting a new job, at first there is a big learning curve and it can be scary, you are uncertain on so many levels. After 6 months to 1 year you become at ease with yourself as you make new connections and see for yourself the difference you are making. By year two you are feeling comfortable enough to decide if you are going to stay or move on (an example given by Dr. Lori Kay).
Take time to work through your emotions and give yourself permission to cry. Crying releases toxins from the body, cleanses the eyes and sinuses. It also can help to calm the body down. Feeling immense sadness can hit at any time. If you can allow its release by crying, this will help sadness move through you. It is when we stop ourselves from crying because you are in a public place. Waiting until you are home before allow yourself to cry is often too late, the moment has passed. Emotions come in waves and if you accept and watch them they will move through you much more quickly than if you stop them.
Instead welcome them in and experience them when they come to visit. Treat them like welcome visitors, sit down and have tea with them and talk. You will be surprised at what they can teach you. I’m writing this for both men and women. Grief affect us all, although men have a harder time allowing themselves to be emotional, instead they have to think their way out. Don’t, stop, no fixing, just allow. Perhaps join a men’s group to help you process your grief. I cannot repeat enough. Don’t do grief alone, seek help and talk it out. Grief needs to be accompanied, seek support.
It is also important to complete unfinished business. It is never too late to forgive and apologize for things you have done or the other way round too, things they may have done. It is also a good idea to write a letter to the deceased explaining to them all the things they did that you’re upset over. This allows you to get it off your mind and onto paper. If you choose to write a letter include 3-4 things that you appreciated about them and thank them. This helps to balance the letter and lets you see how life has ups and downs. By choosing to forgive another is a way of letting go of what you think should or should not have happened. It does not mean you condone their behaviour or actions. It means that you are no longer going to remain a victim, a victim to your thoughts or beliefs. Forgiveness is a decision to let go of anger and resentment that can keep you holding on. Forgiveness and expressing appreciation are ways you can make peace with the past.