Grief and Loss

Grief and loss affects all of us regardless of our differences. Grief is the emotional suffrage of losing someone or something you love dearly. To experience loss and engage in the grieving process brings about pain, but also calls forth healing. It is important to note that grief and loss are not limited to the subject of death alone. One can grieve the loss of a job, the loss of good heath, or the loss of a relationship. You can grieve for people who are among the living. At times, those are the hardest grieving processes to engage in.

Everyone copes with grief and loss differently. Some individuals decide to fill any free space in their schedule with some sort of activity or movement, so as to keep their minds occupied. Some individuals become immobilized and stagnant, making it seem near impossible to integrate back into daily life.

Although there is no standard set of rules to cope with grief and loss, the following coping mechanisms support a healthy transition from grieving to moving forward with your life: accept your pain, seek out support from a safe place, take care of your physical body, and take your time.

By accepting your pain, you give yourself the power to feel the emotions and the waves they come in. There is no shame in feeling pain. When you seek support from a loved one who provides a safe space, you allow yourself to be cared for and truly seen. Your support system wants to bear witness to your pain and suffering and help carry you through. Sadness and grief can manifest into physical pain. It is crucial to pay attention to your physical body and give it what it needs. During times of grief if is helpful to be gentle with yourself and treat your body with kindness and respect. We often hear, “Be strong”, when faced with grave loss. Sitting in your grief and embracing it takes strength and resiliency. Grief knows no time. Your grieving process is individual to you. Take your time and trust your process. There is a common myth that grief takes around a year or so to process. This notion is false. There is no timed schedule for grief.

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The 5 stages of grief, as researched by Kübler-Ross in 1969, encompass the following:

• Denial,
• Anger,
• Bargaining,
• Depression, and
• Acceptance.

Some individuals do not go through every stage of grief. Everyone’s process is unique. When we deny facts, we rob ourselves of the chance to genuinely heal. Denial is often used as a defense mechanism when the experienced pain has reached an unbearable point. Anger is often the stage people feel most comfortable in as opposed to the others. Anger serves as a cover emotion for sadness, disappointment, and devastation. Bargaining provides us with hope that if we sacrifice something valuable, we can receive what we desire in return. Although logic supports that life’s inevitable events do not center on self-sacrifice, we still engage in bargaining. It is normal and natural to do so. Depression is an all-encompassing stage of grief. It brings about a slowness and lack of motivation to engage. Acceptance is the final stage of grief. With acceptance come peace and the security to move forward in life.

Symptoms of grief are helpful to recognize in order to manage coping skills accordingly. Symptoms of grief can range from shock and sadness to fear and guilt. Recognition of these indications of grief is critical in moving forward in life. Because grief can be ongoing, it is vital to plan ahead for triggers. Life events like marriages, graduations, and holidays are difficult times for grieving people. By planning ahead and preparing for the trigger, you allow yourself space to work through the emotions that arise during those intimate events.

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Death, loss, grief, and mourning are normal parts of life. Do not deny yourself the right they feel the gravity of your loss. Although life may never be the same, life continues to go on. The process is slow and painful, but there are trained professionals waiting to support you through this transition.

Assessing help:

Before the situation gets worse everyone should get immediate help. Depending on the severity of the condition people should find a way to deal with it. It is not too late yet. The psychotherapist would engage you in talk therapy and help you restore a sense of harmony and mental stability. And the address of getting help from any professional is Seeking Shalom. Seeking Shalom has trained and experienced therapists. Seeking Shalom works with children, adolescents and adults. It offers you two contexts to help you. If you are having trouble managing grief and loss and would like someone to walk beside you through this difficult time, Seeking Shalom welcomes you. As trained and empathic professionals, we share the desire to be your stepping stone to better living. You can engage in weekly individual/family therapy or in a twelve week group setting where you get to interact with persons like yourself and together learn helpful strategies and techniques to deal with the problem. To pursue any of these options you can contact us via telephone at 212-655-9605. We would be happy to help you on this journey to healthier living. We thank you for your courage in taking the first step towards letting go of what was and inching towards what could be.

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