I recently attended the funeral of a dear friend, and was moved to see the church so full. It was comforting to know he had touched the lives of so many people, and would be remembered in many hearts for many different reasons.
But as I began working through my own feelings of loss and sadness, I wondered how those other people were coping, and it struck me that death – and especially the death of a loved one – is one of the few certainties we have in life, but is probably the thing we are least equipped to cope with. I hope by reading this newsletter (and the related article on my website) you will gain a greater understanding of the grieving process, and how to help yourself, and others, cope at times of loss.
What is grief?
Grief is a natural response to loss. It's the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away. While we mainly associate grief with the loss of a loved one, other losses can also cause grief, including:
The breakup of a relationship
Loss of a friendship
Loss of health – being diagnosed with a chronic or a terminal illness for example
Loss of a limb
Loss of a job
Death of a pet
What are the symptoms of grief?
While loss affects people in different ways, many people experience the following symptoms when they're grieving:
Shock and disbelief
What can I do to help myself through the grieving process?
The single most important factor in healing from loss is having the support of other people. Even if you are not normally comfortable talking about your feelings, it's important to express them when you're grieving. Sharing your loss makes the burden of grief easier to carry. Wherever the support comes from, accept it and do not grieve alone. Connecting to others will help you heal.
Take care of yourself:
When you're grieving, it's more important than ever to take care of yourself.
The stress of a major loss can quickly deplete your energy and emotional reserves. Looking after your physical and emotional needs will help you get through this difficult time.
What can I do to help a friend who is grieving?
It is often hard to know what to do, or to say to people who are grieving, but don't let this stop you from reaching out - they need your support. You might not know exactly what to say or what to do, but that's okay. The most important thing you can do for a grieving person is to simply be there and let them know you care.
Watch out for my next newsletter where you will be E-Quipped to Remember Your Rights.
Tip! Save these newsletters and accumulate the series on Mastering Life's Changes
My goal in creating these newsletters is to inspire you to make the changes necessary to ultimately live the life of your dreams!
On my website you'll find more ideas to get you thinking about life, love, work and other important STUFF - all based on my work as a practicing psychologist, speaker, trainer and life coach (and hat lover!)
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