Love Is Strong; Love Lives On

There is no right or wrong way to grieve a loss and coping can be challenging. At the moment, I am experiencing sadness due to the loss of a few people over a period of time. It was unexpected and gone too soon. Just when I think I was making some progress about one dear friend, I heard news about another special person to me. I have never been one to attend funerals, wakes and the like. I tend to shy away from social gatherings and deal with my emotions. In this case, I decided to attend one and pay my respects. I didn’t stay long at all. It was what I could handle at the time. Experiencing grief is a natural response to loss. Something or someone you love is taken away and we go through these feelings from shock, disbelief, anger, guilt and so on. For some people the pain of grief makes it difficult to sleep, eat or even think straight. Often, the pain of loss can be overwhelming. There are various forms of grief, from losing a loved one to losing a job, retirement or even loss of a friendship. Subtle losses can trigger a sense of grief as well. Whatever type of loss, it’s personal to you so don’t feel ashamed about how you may feel and the stages of grief you find yourself going through. The grieving process is a totally individual experience. It takes time but there are healthy ways to assist you with what you are going through. Don’t beat up on yourself, don’t resort to labeling yourself either. Don’t allow anyone else to do the same either. If you encounter others who want to call you “crazy” or “weak” etc, understand that there is insecurity within. There isn’t anything wrong with feeling bouts of sadness, crying or even feeling like you have no appetite. With time, those symptoms will subside and you can get back into your daily routine. Remember that healing happens gradually so try not to put a time frame or rush through the process. Accept the emotions as they come. Some people start to feel better in weeks or months, for others it may take up to a year or even longer. It’s important to be patient with yourself. Trying to ignore the pain will only make it worse in the long run. You have to face it and make an effort to deal with it.

Many have been taught that you have to be strong during a time of loss. This may mean not expressing natural emotions or putting on a brave front. There is nothing to prove to anyone. Crying truly doesn’t mean you are weak. It is a natural way to relieve all of the stress that has been built up within. In the same hand, just because a person doesn’t cry, it does not mean that they are not hurting deeply, they may have another way of showing it. When you are ready to move on with your life it doesn’t mean that you are forgetting. It just means that you are able to cope with it better and hold on to the memories. Actually, as we move on through life, these memories can become a really important part of whom we are. “Time and space “is what a close friend of mine told me yesterday and it made perfect sense.

Understand that your grieving process will be unique to you only and it may be a great idea to seek support face-to-face. Talking to someone about what you’re feeling can be an immense relief. There is always professional therapy for those that feel like they do not want to talk to family/friends but if you can start with someone close, try. You may find out that it is helping them also. Acknowledge the pain and accept that it can set off many different emotions. It can be a roller coaster in the truest sense, with its highs and lows. The key is not to isolate yourself. If you feel any of these emotions such as feeling like life isn’t worth living, wish you had died with your loved one, blame yourself for the loss or failing to prevent it and:or feeling numb or disconnected for more than a few weeks, reach out. Unable to perform your normal daily activities is a major one and at that point you should seek out professional mental health help. When just left untreated it can lead to emotional damage, life-threatening problems, even suicide.

Text HOME to 741741 to speak to a trained counselor. Check out https://www.griefshare.org/findagroup

The sadness of losing someone you love never goes away completely, but it shouldn’t remain center stage. With these resources and seeking out help, you can learn how to cope and lead a productive life with the memory of your loved one still remaining strong in your heart and mind.

Sleep in Peace Shae Waterman & Ky Swails

Author:

Be yourself. There is no one better.

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