Why Nobody Seems to Understand Your Grief
Grief is a personal experience, and it’s one that not everyone around you will understand. First of all, they aren’t going through the same loss and turmoil as you are now. Second, they may have a totally different way of coping with loss. Where one person keeps all their emotions in, another may lash out and cry. If you have recently faced a loss in Santa Clara and elsewhere, bereavement services can help you identify your grief and learn how to navigate it in a healthy manner.
You may feel very alone going through the grieving process because it may seem like no one understands what you’re going through. That is true to an extent, but it’s important to understand you’re never alone.
Obtaining Validation and Understanding
Many people have a difficult time getting some level of understanding from people around them after a loss. That’s because when we grieve, we are especially vulnerable and raw, and the insensitivity of others often adds to the unbearable isolation and pain we are already feeling, points out Grief Healing. It would be great if we all had a strong network of friends and family who knew exactly the response we needed without us having to tell them. In grief, we crave having people around us who will bear witness to the struggle we are going through and will hold our hand through our unique journey through grief.
Some people do have that, but unfortunately, this isn’t the majority. In fact, most people in our culture do not know how to act or what to say when someone dies, so they err on the side of caution and don’t do or say anything. This avoidance can be very painful. But it’s human nature. We tend to shy away from raw displays of grief because they make us feel uncomfortable. What we really need when going through grief is for someone close to us to offer their presence, solace, and comfort.
Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do until we have gone through our own loss on a personal level. Only then can we understand how emotionally draining the grief process is and the vulnerability that results. It’s hard to accept the insensitivity and lack of understanding we feel from others who have not been in your shoes. It’s not always their fault: they may never have experienced the loss of someone they love, and therefore are unsure of what to expect. They may also fear death and mortality, which also impacts their reaction.
By the same token, we can’t expect people to guess what we want or what we’re feeling. That’s why it’s important not to close yourself off throughout the grieving process. Sometimes you may not even know what it is you need. But it’s human nature to want to be comforted, hugged, listened to, touched, contacted, and even pampered. When you need help, say it. You will find that most people will jump at the chance to help you in an active way that they can understand. This separates them from the raw emotion yet allows them to feel like they are helping you through something.
This could be as simple as an errand, to pick up a prescription or some groceries, or even your kids from school. Ask if you need help, or accept help if someone tells you what they plan to do for you. If and when you want to be alone, be vocal about that too.
Mourning is Hard Work
In the face of loss, we are expected to put on a brave face and move on, hiding the pain lest we upset others around us. We have a culture of grief avoidance, which means when you are the one who is grieving, losing a loved one is an even more lonely and isolating experience, says Grief and Sympathy. When we try to hide the pain and smile through it, this can be exhausting. It’s not easy to mourn. We often feel like we are acting for those around us so they won’t be uncomfortable, especially when children are involved.
Your friends may seem miles away as you look through the foggy lens of grief. Just remember that friendship is a two-way street that involves an equal give and take. Maintaining close friendships is also work, and when we’re going through mourning, it can seem like the scales are tipped. Mourning takes a lot of energy out of us, especially at the beginning. When in the throes of grief, we have so little energy left over to nurture our friendships, marriages, and other social connections that they start to break down.
You may find that certain “fair weather” friends disappear for a while and return when they think you’re “better.” Or worse, they may abandon you completely. This can be very painful as well.
The bottom line is, you are never alone in grief, but it is a process that only you can navigate in your own special way.
Contact Pathways Home Health and Hospice
If you are going through a loss of a loved one, take part in one of our many bereavement services, from workshops and one-on-one counseling to support groups and memorial events. Call us at 888-978-1306 to learn more today.