Grief is defined as deep sorrow. While most people associate grief with the loss of a loved one, grief is also the natural response to any major loss.
Grief is also…
- The end of a romantic relationship
- The end of a friendship or familial relationship
- A career shift/retirement
- Losing a home or job
Most people are familiar with the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. However, it’s important to understand that navigating grief is unique to each person and their grief journey may require different ways of coping. It’s important to find healthy ways to grieve and move through your emotions.
What are healthy ways to grieve?
- Give yourself permission to feel your loss
- Give yourself time to understand your emotions and what you are grieving
- Seek support from people you feel safe with
- Talk about it with a licensed therapist
- Prepare for anniversaries or milestones that may be upsetting
- Know the triggers that might reawaken your grief
It is important to remember that grief comes in waves, and it doesn’t affect everyone the same. Grieving doesn’t follow a set timeline and will have different triggers depending on the situation. The below illustration is a simple, yet profound way of understanding how grief evolves in someone’s life. It suggests that your grief will always be a part of you, but your life will begin to grow around it. You will have new experiences, meet new people, and begin to find moments of happiness again. Over time, these moments may grow more frequent and the outer circle will grow a little bigger.
Your grief is still valid even if…
- Your loss doesn’t include a death
- Your loss happened a long time ago
- People assume you should be over it by now
- You don’t outwardly express your emotions to your family or friends anymore
- You begin to enjoy life again
There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Only your way. If you or a loved one is experiencing grief, our mental health professionals at Rise Counseling & Diagnostics can help. Contact us today to Get Started.