Greif is an experience that we all go through, and not one single human on this planet has not gone through it, whether it be directly through the loss of a partner or close friend, a relationship ending, a serious illness of yourself or a loved one, financial loss, or an experience of traumatic grief.
For this very reason, and the fact that we all have different ways of processing our emotions, it is almost impossible to put a picture to how grief and loss looks like, how long the process will be, whether it will come in waves or if it arrives in one heap. There are a million and one books on how to process these emotions but the most important thing to consider is that not one human being is the same, so it is essential for the individual to explore the ways it is for them to go through it.
Greif has no one definition, no one answer to and definitely no one way to go experience it. Even though this is true, there are simple ways we can support our mind and body whilst it processes these very raw emotion.
Taking care of the body. During this time, it can be very easy to disregard the body because this is the very place where all of our feelings are surfacing, from the body! So, without perfection, ensuring that we can do some simple exercise, eating nutritious food and getting enough sleep is pivotal to supporting ourselves. No perfection required here.
Reaching out. Shame, embarrassment and shutting down can arise while experiencing grief as we are processing a lot of emotions, possible some that have not been felt in a long time. Reaching out and talking with people that you know will support you is essential while dealing with grief, to take some of the pressure off dealing with it all on your own, and to be reminded that you have people around that love and care for you.
Giving yourself space. It can be easy to want to do a lot of things to not feel what we are going through but sometimes this can result in pushing down emotions that are better to be processed and released out of the body. Giving yourself space and the permission to cry if you need to, get angry if you need to, write if you need to, walk if you need to, or whatever the body is calling for, is very honouring while you go through this vulnerable time. The key is to knock out any pictures around this, as this can inhibit finding our own way to walk through this process.
Be patient with yourself. To follow on the knocking out of pictures, a huge factor is not having any ideals of how the grief will look like for you, even if you have seen others first-hand experience it, or not. The typical picture of grief is sadness, anger, shock, shut down, surprise or denial. And then it can either come in waves, hang around for a few months, a year or years. These emotions and time frames may come for you, and they may not. The key here is to enquire with the deepest part of you to feel into how your body wants to process it.
Consider professional support. Depending on the severity or what the individual requires, professional support may sometimes be necessary. It is important for individuals to seek support if they feel it is getting too intense, too complicated or if it may result in health issues later down the track. Speaking with a professional can provide a safe and confidential space with the purpose of you to express what you are feeling, without any form of judgement or expectation.
Our deepest revelations and realisations of what is truly important in life comes to us through grief and loss, as we begin to see the deeper picture of life and what is truly worth putting our energy into, such as being honest, being raw, honouring our bodies to the best of our ability, and giving space to whatever we need to go through. This is the greatest gift we can give ourselves.
If you would like to book in a session with one of our counsellors to discuss any concerns regarding overwhelm, you can book online using the button below. You can also access some free government helplines for immediate support over on our resources page.