From Our Readers: How to Deal with Grief and Loss
Grief, like any other emotion, comes in many shapes and forms. It can present itself as intense as the death of a loved one or as subtle as a breakup or any sort of transition which conveys the feeling of loss. And although it is a human's natural response to loss, people tend to react in different ways. There's your own version of grieving, and then there's your friend's unique grieving pattern. You begin asking the why, how, and what went wrong.
When you lose a job, change careers, suffer serious health issues, move away from home, face financial crisis, or witness your pet die, you experience grief. No matter how shallow or deep the cause is, no one can impose how you are supposed to mourn. Nobody can dictate that you have to go through specific stages of grief.
The sky is red
The birds have fled
A wreath of roses in my bed
Sweet and sorrow it read
Time is my rival
Resolve is my reprisal
Go forth the dream of survival
The last gasp for the final
This poem tells us that sorrow is a highly individual and personal feeling, so allow it to run its natural course. There's no instant fix to everything, but there are practical and healthy steps you can do to survive the bereavement and constructively move on and move forward.
- You're not looking at the face of some ugly horror movie character, so face it.
Well, basically, the first step to deal with grief is to deal with it. If you want real healing, don't try to ignore the pain thinking that it'll go away faster that way. Doing so will eventually make it worse. There's no way you can dull the pain or numb it by submitting yourself to drinking alcohol or other distractions. Allowing yourself to have a good cry is healthy for the first part of the process.
- JSYK, you don't have deadlines. There is no timetable for grieving.
Time is a good healer and healing gradually happens. It's still normal even if you feel affected for more than a year after flunking a licensure exam. You can stay in bed all day and dodge other people, at the same time wonder how can the other person party all night and look happy after a week. There's no right or wrong time frame. Don't pressure yourself to heal for a certain period of time. Make it clear to yourself that this is your grief and not theirs. So do it your own way.
- You're ace at expressing yourself, why not do it now?
Talking is a good way to release the negative feelings you have within you. It's best to have a compassionate shoulder to lean on during this trying time. Choose someone you trust or seek professional help from a counsellor, therapist, or a priest. What you say doesn't have to be reasonable or rational, you just have to express. But don't feel pressured to talk. If you don't feel like talking about it, it's totally fine. You can opt for other outlets to express your thoughts like writing a journal, song, or anything to soothe the painful emotions.
- Whatever it is you lost, find the right time when to fill the void.
When you lose someone or something valuable to you, it will leave an empty gap which will constantly long for your attention. If you feel you're ready, find ways to fill that spot with something that makes you feel good. Learn the message this experience left you and grow from it. Engage in activities where you can give your life new purpose to compensate for the emptiness. Your own coping style can help you bounce back. Allow light to shine in the midst of it all. Understand that things come and go, hence, this too shall pass.