Grief and Loss

Coping With Loss and Grief

Grief and death tend to be closely associated. But the truth is that we can experience loss in many ways, the loss of a job, loss of health, or loss of a relationship. It may be helpful to recognize that what is happening involves a grieving process. This may help make sense of the confusing roller coaster of emotions being experienced. People often do not expect to grieve when they have decided it is best to end their relationship. But even if it was their decision to leave, they may still experience an intense feeling of loss.

If you are grieving remember that it is a natural process. It is also personal and individual. Any loss can cause grief. When coping with loss and grief, the degree of loss will affect the intensity of the grief. There is no set timetable for grief. Be patient with yourself and allow the process to unfold. For some it may take years, while others may start to feel better in weeks or months.

As you deal with your loss, remember that there is no order or timetable for grief. Everyone grieves differently. Shock, numbness, anger, fear, guilt, intense sadness are just some of the intense feelings that accompany grief. To heal, it is important to allow yourself to accept, feel and process these feelings as they come up in you. The pain will not go away if you ignore it. Although there is no right way to grieve, there are healthy ways to deal with the pain.

Remember to take care of yourself. Avoid using alcohol or drugs to numb the pain. Eat well, exercise and get enough sleep (sometimes easier said that done). It is okay to feel however you feel. Do not let others dictate that it is time to “let it go” or “move on”.

Most importantly get support from others. Talk to loved ones, rather than avoiding them. Support groups can also help people make connections that help with healing. Many people find comfort in their faith. If your grief feels overwhelming a counsellor can help you work through the intense emotions and get past the blocks that may be keeping you stuck.

Coping With Grief And Loss - When To See A Counsellor

If you feel stuck and unable to grieve or overwhelmed by the grieving process, you may be dealing with complicated grief. Without help complicated grief may have serious consequences. Consider calling for help if you:

  • Wish that you had died with or instead of your loved one
  • Blame yourself
  • After months or years still feel sad, hopeless or angry most of the time
  • Feel that life is not worth living
  • Feel numb or disconnected for more than a couple of weeks
  • Have lost all interest in your daily activities
  • Are having trouble trusting others since the incident