Grieving the loss of someone you love is difficult. While there is no right or wrong way to grieve, there are healthy ways to cope with the pain and feel less alone. That's why we've gathered 15 stories surrounding grief that resonated with our readers, from personal blogs to expert advice. Check them out below:
Be Patient With Yourself
Give yourself time to accept what has happened. There is no schedule for when you should feel certain emotions, or be over others. Choose to stand up for you and the rest of your life, and choose to move on. You don’t have to figure out how you’re going to get through the rest of your life. Just focus on staying in the game and moving forward now. It is normal to cry and be depressed, but you need to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
After the initial shock of any type of trauma, there are, of course, the various stages of grief that everyone goes through, including denial, rationalization, anger and acceptance. For those who are on this journey, it is important to have faith in yourself and the inner compass that guides you. If you do this, you’ll understand that opportunities for growth and happiness lie in the most unexpected places, ready to be seized if you’re open to recognizing and embracing them. I don’t believe we ever get over a significant loss, but we do learn to move through it, live with it, and perhaps even use it creatively to find our life’s purpose and harvest its lessons.
For an estimated 7 to 10 percent of people who lose someone, the grief doesn’t ease over time. If it continues to affect their day-to-day functioning for at least 12 months, they may be suffering from complicated grief, also called persistent complex bereavement disorder. The condition is linked to worse scores on word-association and other cognitive tests and smaller brain volumes, according to a study in Psychological Medicine.
In health care, and society in general, our drive to save lives eclipses care around the dying process and consequently we are uncomfortable talking about death. In the same way, our focus on the health of the physical body trumps that of our mental wellbeing, and as a result mental health conditions are poorly understood and stigmatized. So when death and mental health collide in the perfect storm of a completed suicide we have the ultimate conversation stopper. For decades we have swept these taboo topics under the carpet, and because of this we are ill equipped to deal with it.
I’ve often wondered why comforting others makes me feel so much more alive. Recently I’ve realized that having walked through the fire, I may be specially equipped to help others make the passage, and survive.
I will never get over it.
I may look like I finally got my life back together, I may have even gone on to have more children or embarked on a new career, but my child and the trauma of losing her is always one step behind. My tears may have dried, and I can probably utter my child’s name without breaking apart, but please know that I will never, ever get over the fact that she is gone.
Grief taught me that sometimes I don’t have to let it go. I just have to let it out.
Through writing, through words, through movement, through tears, through screaming at the top of my lungs or whispering to the wind. The way into grief was very narrow, but the way through was up to me.
As an introvert myself, when I was mourning the death of my parents, so many of the traditional parts of the mourning process felt very invasive to me. For instance, people coming over to my house after the funeral. I had just been taking care of ailing parents and planning a funeral and now I have to have people over? I know that everyone meant well, but having people in my home, some of them I barely knew, felt very unsettling. And then came the inevitable questions, are you going to sell the house, are going to move and what are going to do now?
You learn to trust who you talk to. The best ones will comfort and pretend to understand even if they don’t. The best ones will understand if you want to be alone, and will understand if you change your mind about what you want. The best ones will not make you feel foolish for appearing vulnerable and weak.
I’m going to be as clear as I possibly can: You have permission to grieve. Grieving does not mean that you wallow in despair for the rest of your life. It means you give voice, you give space, to the horrors you have endured, and bear witness to them — in whatever way that unfolds.
Exercise can also keep you healthy during a stressful time, when your immune system is on the fritz, adds Brian McFarlin, Ph.D., assistant professor of exercise physiology and nutrition at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Even though grief is primarily a psychological reaction to loss, your nervous system still responds as if the event was an attack on the body.
According to Dr. Shear, “Grief is the form that love takes after someone you love dies.” In an article by the Chicago Tribune, Shear goes on to say, “The point isn’t to put these feelings behind you altogether; that’s not possible or even desirable. The point is to gain perspective and help grief find its rightful place in a person’s life.”
A troubling percentage of American adults believe that miscarriages are rare and caused by a woman’s negative lifestyle choices, stress or physical activity, according to a study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.
In fact, miscarriages happen in about one in five known pregnancies. Most are caused by some kind of developmental problem in the embryo.
The myth of rarity is just one of many miscarriage misunderstandings that perpetuate a harmful cycle of shame and isolation around grieving women, according to Dr. Zev Williams, the study’s author.
Stop apologizing. You don’t have to feel guilty about your grief. The holidays can bring up very difficult memories and this should not create a feeling of shame. You are deeply missing your loved one, and you are emotionally fragile. Each time you apologize, you are basically sending yourself a message that you are doing something wrong.
I don’t think there is anything that can prepare you to lose a parent. It is a larger blow in adulthood I believe, because you are at the point where you are actually friends with your mother or father. Their wisdom has finally sunk in and you know that all of the shit you rolled your eyes at as a teenager really was done out of love and probably saved your life a time or two.
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