Everyone in life will unfortunately come upon a time when they are grieving. While very painful, this process can be eased somewhat with the ideas outlined in this lesson.
What Is Grief?
An unfortunate but very real part of life is that of grief, a sincere and painful psychological suffering over some sort of loss or affliction that results in a sense of sadness and emptiness. It can be heartbreaking to lose a loved one, be it a grandparent, parent, sibling, child, or pet. This lesson will provide some general advice on how you can deal with grief or help others deal with their grief.
Remember, this process is slow and there is no magic bullet that will make everything better. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things you can do to help.
Jake drove to work this morning when his wife called him. He pushed the Bluetooth connect button in his car to talk hands-free.
She asked him where he was. He explained he was on the highway. His wife then asked him to pull over. Then, she broke the news that his sister had been in a tragic accident the night before and passed away. The news hit Jake ferociously. He didn’t know how to react. He was dumbfounded at first and then didn’t even believe that it really happened.
Reality seemed to stop existing for a moment and he sincerely thought it must be a dream because he was in a daze of sorts. Eventually, Jake understood the reality of the situation and grief set in.Jack, having been through a similar experience before, knew how to help himself deal with the situation:
- Do not hold back on mourning the loss.
It is natural to grieve and mourn after losing a loved one.
- Acknowledge the fact that you are in pain. Accept the pain as a part of not only the grief, but as a part of eventually moving forward and healing.
- It’s okay to spend some time alone as you are grieving. However, don’t overdo it.
Make sure you talk to someone you trust. This could be your partner, a very close friend, or a religious leader. Ensure you engage in some social activities from time to time as well.
- Do not make any impactful life decisions until the heavy grieving process is over. When grieving, you are extremely emotional, and your judgment is clouded. You don’t want to make any decisions that you will regret later.
- Stay healthy. Eat right, allot plenty of time for sleep, and keep exercising. You may also want to visit a physician to ensure your grief isn’t significantly affecting your health, especially if you already have a serious condition, such as heart disease.
- Be realistic about the outcome. As long as you let the grieving process proceed naturally, time will heal a lot of the pain. To say that everything will be completely back to normal after some period of time isn’t very true.
You’ll always feel a sense of loss, but it won’t be as debilitating and you will come to accept and understand your ‘new normal’.
- Seek counseling from a professional if you believe you need it, or find a social or spiritual support group. The benefit of a social support group is open communication and helping others. By helping others, you’ll feel better, and they will help you as well.
Remember this too: there is no length of time for the grieving process.
Everyone will grieve in their own way and at their own pace. Finally, don’t forget something else that’s very important. It’s okay to grieve and mourn the loss of someone, but do not forget to celebrate their life!
If you are Jack’s loved one, you can also do quite a bit to help him and others like him who are grieving. First, ensure they know you are available to listen to them.
Do not push the idea of a chat, simply allow them to understand you are there for them and that they can come and talk whenever they are ready. When they do come to you, make sure the place you are talking is free from distractions and that you have allotted a good amount of time to the talk so as not to seem rushed. Other important ways you can help:
- Listen, but do so without judgement.
- Simply sit with them, even in silence, if that’s what they prefer.
- Share feelings and stories if you feel it’s appropriate.
- Ask them to share their feelings as well.
- Address the pain they are experiencing, but do not demean them or their pain.
- If you believe the person is in imminent danger due to suicidal thoughts and/or actions, call 911 and remove any medication, knives, or guns in the home.
Grief is a sincere and painful psychological suffering over some sort of loss or affliction that results in a sense of sadness and emptiness. If you are grieving:
- Do not hold back on mourning the loss.
- Acknowledge the fact that you are in pain.
- Spend time alone when necessary, but don’t forget to socialize too
- Do not make any impactful life decisions
- Stay healthy by eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep (even though this may be difficult)
- Seek counseling from a professional if necessary
If you are helping someone who is grieving, then:
- Listen, but do so without judgement
- Share feelings and stories if you feel it’s appropriate
- Address the pain they are experiencing, but do not demean them or their pain