People deal with their grief in different ways. Some cry for weeks, barely finding a minute to take care of themselves. Others may laugh nervously or try to manage the pain with humor. Still others are shocked and don’t laugh or cry. All of these reactions are normal – there is no one right way to grieve.
As a therapist, my job is to help my patients accept their loss in their own way. However, grief can become a problem.
Grief can activate dormant psychological or mental disorders, trigger old traumas, or last much longer than it should.
What is grief?
Grief refers to the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors associated with the loss of something very significant. This can be the loss of a loved one, a job, a relationship, or anything else that is significant to a person. However, we usually speak of grief in the context of a death. Grief is a specific period of mourning after the death of a loved one. It is a set of reactions: the emotions of grief with sadness, protest, and longing; the cognitive processes of reflection, comprehension, and understanding of the inevitability and nature of death; and the religious, spiritual, cultural, or social framework of adjustment.
Tasks of grieving
Grief is the process of accepting loss. It is the process of adjusting to loss by accomplishing various tasks. Be mindful that adjusting does not mean forgetting – it means finding a way to preserve the memories of a loved one while moving forward in life. It means adjusting to life without the loved one while keeping a place for them in your heart.
1. acknowledge that the loss is real
After losing a loved one, the reality of the loss is often downplayed or rejected. To overcome this and move on, the fact of loss must be fully accepted.
2. deal with the pain of grief
Grief includes distressing feelings such as guilt, self-blame, anger and sadness. It may be more comfortable to avoid and suppress these feelings than to experience them. However, processing the pain of grief means facing these feelings, recognizing them, and making sense of them.
3) Adjusting to a world without the deceased loved one.
The loss of a loved one usually brings about some changes in life. These can range from slight changes in daily routine to a completely new worldview.
4. Find a way to preserve the memories of the deceased loved one while moving forward in life
Moving forward does not mean erasing the memories of the deceased loved one from your mind. It means giving the deceased a place in your thoughts. A place that is important, but still leaves room for others.
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The process of grieving
Before we get into the “normal” process of grieving, we should be aware that “normal” can vary depending on the situation, the person, and the culture. The following information is only a glimpse of what to expect.
The grieving process usually includes
Feelings of guilt regarding the deceased
Intense feelings of sadness
Several months after the loss of a loved one, a person may experience symptoms of acute grief:
Feelings of numbness and shock
Intense grief that rises in waves of 10 to 60 minutes and is often accompanied by a tightness in the throat, shortness of breath, and emotional and physical discomfort
These signs, while common, are very serious. They do not usually warrant their own diagnosis, as they are considered a normal part of the grieving process. As a rule, grievers are still able to feel happy at times. A distinction is made between depression and grief.
The symptoms of acute grief usually improve on their own. Over a period of several months, the sadness associated with grief will decrease in intensity, and other signs will become less frequent.
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