Grief and Loss

We can’t escape loss…

We all experience loss at some point in our lives. Statistics show that 1 in 5 children will experience the death of someone close to them before they turn 18 years old.

Feelings of grief and loss are not always associated with death, but frequently arise after a loss of some kind – whether it is the loss of infertility, a pregnancy, a loved one, a severed relationship, a pet, or a job.

Feelings of grief can be overwhelming…

When people lose someone or something of value to them, their feelings of grief can be overwhelming. Grief can induce feelings of sadness, hopelessness, isolation, irritability, and numbness by affecting a person mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Grief is the emotional response to loss. This may be a result of the loss of a loved one due to death or divorce, but also may include the loss of a job, a pet, financial stability, or safety after trauma.

Feelings of grief can be overpowering, and it is hard to know how to manage and overcome these emotions.

Common symptoms of grief include shock and disbelief

You might feel numb about the event, have trouble believing it happened, deny it, or expect to see the person you lost.

Grieving people also experience sadness, crying, or having feelings of emptiness, despair, yearning, or loneliness.

Guilt or feelings of regret over things unsaid or undone, feeling responsible for the death or the event, or shame from feeling relieved by a person’s passing are also symptoms of grief.

Many persons experience anger and blaming someone for the injustice of the loss. Another symptom of grief is fear, including feelings of anxiety, helplessness, and insecurity, or having panic attacks.

Physical symptoms may include fatigue, nausea, weight loss or gain, aches and pains, and insomnia.

Dealing with grief

It is important to know that healing from grief is a process, and each person copes with this emotion in a unique way.

There is no orderly process of passing through stages of anger, denial and acceptance. Each person experiences loss differently based on their personality, culture, and beliefs, among other factors. This process, though painful, is a healthy part of healing.

People often don’t know what to say or do when someone is grieving; however, exercising patience with the individual and yourself through this painful process will be helpful.

Grief counseling from a therapist also provides a means of coping with grief from loss.

Coping with grief and loss

One important component of healing is knowing you are not alone. Share your loss and seek support from your friends, family, faith, or join a bereavement support group.

Take care of yourself – eat, sleep, and exercise even when you feel stressed or tired.

Seek the help of a professional therapist who can help you work through your intense emotions in a safe environment.

In this process, you may improve coping skills, reduce feelings of blame or guilt, and explore and process your emotions.

If you are having difficulty coping on your own, or know of someone who could use extra support, a therapist can assist.

I am here to help!

If you are having trouble overcoming your grief, contact me at (616) 236-3281, so we can work on ways to help you cope and recover.