Grief: You’re Probably Doing it Right
Grief is a very personal experience. No two people go through it in the same way. If you have recently lost someone in Santa Clara and elsewhere, you are in the thick of the grieving process right now. Nothing may seem right. Everything is upside down. But even though it may not feel like it, you’re probably handing grief in just the right way. It starts with getting the help you need, as you can’t go it alone. Bereavement services are a good jumping off point, which includes anything from support groups to counseling.
Expressing your grief in healthy ways is important. The last thing you may feel right now is that you’re doing something right. We’re here to tell you that you are, and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
If You Can Name It, You Can Manage It
It’s important to acknowledge the grief you may be experiencing right now and learn how to manage it, and only then can you find meaning in it, suggests Harvard Business Review. While grief can be eased by gathering with others or talking it out, it can also be a largely individual process. Public mourning rituals happen across all cultures, but thriving after those losses often resides in practicing private rituals. One recent study set out to examine how people cope with loss. Researchers found that a large majority of people — 80% in fact — take part in private rituals; when they did so, they experience lower levels of grief.
Such rituals can help you mourn, grieve, and gain closure on your loved one’s departure in your own unique way. And while traditional public mourning rituals are critical, such as holding wakes, funeral services and burial services, they don’t take away the loneliness and emptiness you feel when everyone else gets back to their lives. You’re still there, hurting, coping, grieving. That’s where the real work comes in: the healing after the fact.
Healthy Ways to Grieve
According to the American Psychological Association, research shows most people will recover from loss on their own through the passing of time if they get social support and practice healthy habits. Moving on with your life may be a long and arduous process, but there are things that will make it easier. Here’s a look at healthy ways to grieve.
- Talk about the death of your loved one: Don’t bottle it all up inside. Talk about the person you lost with friends, family members or colleagues so you can better understand what happened, remember your loved one, and then process it in a healthy way. Avoidance leads to isolation, disrupting the healing process.
- Accept what you are feeling: You’re going to feel a variety of complex emotions when grieving, from sadness to anger to exhaustion. They’re all normal, so take a moment to recognize them when you feel them and embrace them as a normal part of grieving. But if you start feeling stuck or overwhelmed by all these emotions, you may want to talk with a mental health professional who is trained to help people cope with their feelings in a healthy way so they can get back on track.
- Take care of yourself: Eat healthy foods, exercise and get plenty of sleep to preserve your physical and emotional health. The grieving process takes a toll on the body. Take care of it.
- Reach out: Spend time with loved ones of the deceased so everyone can cope better. You may not be the only one mourning that person. They may also have had other loved ones who need support too. Reach out to them. Share stories or listen to the deceased’s favorite music. All of these little efforts make a huge difference to some people. Plus, when you help others, you feel better too.
- Remember and celebrate their lives: Anniversaries of the lost loved one are tough, but think of them as times for remembrance and honor. Perhaps you decide to collect donations and drop them off at the deceased’s favorite charity, or maybe you pass on a family name to a new baby or maybe even plant a garden in their memory. Whatever you decide, this is a very personal and healthy way of honoring the unique bond and relationship you shared in a way that makes sense to you.
Human beings are inherently resilient beings. Most of us can endure loss, grieve, and continue on with our lives. However, for some people it’s not that easy. Many struggle with grief for much longer periods of time and don’t feel like they can carry out daily activities. Those with severe or complicated grief can benefit from the help of a licensed mental health professional who specializes in grief. Support groups, too, can help you feel a connection to others who have gone through the same thing.
Contact Pathways Home Health and Hospice
To learn about our bereavement services in Santa Clara and elsewhere, including support groups and counseling, please get in touch with us at 888-978-1306.