5 Signs That Grief is Lessening
Are you grieving over the loss of a loved one? You could benefit from bereavement services in Alameda County. It’s good to know that bereavement help comes in many forms, from support groups to grief counseling to memorial workshops. You may wonder: when will my grief end? When will I feel better? When will I start to feel normal again? Truth is, you may never completely get over your grief. But the good news is that, with time, grief lessens so that you can start living again.
The progression through grief is often very slow, leading to a “one step forward and two steps backward” kind of motion. In the early stages, you may feel it’s impossible to see signs of improvement. But in time, those improvements will come a little at a time, like baby steps. Sometimes you may not realize how much progress you have made until you stop in your tracks and say “Today is not a bad day.” That is lessening grief.
Here are some signs that you’re finally starting to work through your grief.
1. A Focus on Happy Memories
Your grief is lessening when you can think about your lost loved one more as a happy previous memory and less as a painful, present absence, says MentalHelp. The pain may still be there, but it’s more of a dull ache rather than a sharp acute pain.
2. Guilt About Moving On
The transition from a sad focus on what once was to a hopeful focus on a new future doesn’t happen all at once. It’s a gradual realization that can take a while to fully form. As you start to look forward to a future of happiness rather than a future of sadness, you may start feeling guilty when you realize you want to move on. You may think your recovery from grief is like an abandonment of your past relationship, and you may feel disloyal or dishonorable if you start to feel happy once again. But this isn’t so. Grief is a fluid emotion that is supposed to lead you through and out.
3. No More Physical Symptoms
Grief isn’t just about the emotional and mental side of things. Grief is also coupled with physical manifestations that can include:
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Lowered immunity
- Aches and pains
If you are no longer experiencing these physical symptoms, or these symptoms are lessening, this is a good sign that you may be coming to terms with your grief.
4. Forgetting to Grieve
There will be times where you catch yourself “forgetting” to think about your loved one. In the beginning, you may have been consumed with grief, sadness, and memories. But now as you have started to work through things, you may catch yourself going an hour, two, or several without them being front of mind. This will make you panic at first, thinking you have betrayed them. But this isn’t true. You will never forget them. Rather, you’re granting yourself permission to move on with your life, happy in the knowledge your loved one would want you to move on.
The last stage of the five stages of grief according to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross is acceptance. This doesn’t mean that you’re OK with the loss or that everything is back to normal 100 percent. Most people won’t ever feel right about the loss, or completely balanced again. But this stage is all about accepting the reality that your loved one is gone physically, and recognizing that this new reality is indeed permanent, according to Grief. This stage involves learning to live in a world that doesn’t contain your loved one.
This is when you recognize that you can’t maintain the past and keep it intact. You have to realize that a new normal is on the horizon and that nothing you can say or do will bring them back. No amount of bargaining will help. No amount of anger will stop it. To many people, acceptance means having more good days than bad. This is a time for reorganizing roles and re-assigning them to others. Often, we feel somehow that we are betraying our loved one by “replacing” them.
This is certainly not the case, but we have to learn to forge new connections, meaningful relationships, and inter-dependencies. Rather than deny our feelings, we must listen to our needs as they change and grow. In time, you will learn to live again, but you can’t hope to do so until you have let grief run its course.
Contact Pathways Home Health and Hospice
Pathways offers a lot of ways to help the grieving through our compassionate bereavement support services. Support groups, grief counseling, memorial services, and workshops can all help you through the tunnel of grief to the other side. To inquire, contact us at 888-978-1306.