31 Aug Loss & Grief
Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be hard. It can also be unpredictable. There are many teachings and guidelines on the processes and stages of grief but what is important to remember is that we are all individuals, dealing and interacting with this world in a completely unique way, and as a result your process of grief will not look like anyone else’s….and that is okay.
Try not to be too hard on yourself nor to place too many expectations on yourself or on those around you. Remember that they are grieving too and as individuals their grief will not necessarily look like yours. Try to remember that this does not mean that you or the other person cared any more or less than the other. We simply show and process grief in different ways.
A friend recently told me about a couple who had lost their child to cancer. Their processes of grief were very different and it started to put a strain on the relationship. One of the ways they managed to re-establish some form of communication around this grief and a way to express their need to the other was to have a candle that was dedicated to their child’s passing. When either of them was having a difficult day with regards to their loss they would light the candle and in so doing allow their partner to know where they were at emotionally when they didn’t necessarily have the words to express it.
Finding ways to communicate such as the latter is key. Friends and family will want to help and support you but they may not know how to, especially because grief is specific to the individual as well as the loss. Each loss is experienced differently. The truth is there is no possible way for your community of supporters to know for sure what you want or need unless you let them know. They will say the wrong things, that is almost a guarantee, try to remember that they are saying it out of love and in an attempt to be with you. Try to remember that they are very likely grieving too. Let them know what you need and if that is space and time alone do not be afraid to express that. Those who truly care for you would more likely than not understand.
Allow yourself time to mourn, time to cry, time to process. It may be a cliche but taking each day at a time really is sound advice. Meet yourself where you are at everyday and know that wherever that is, it is okay. You do not have to be anywhere other than where you are. Remove expectations and timelines and try to allow yourself your own space and time to work through your loss.
Remember that you are loved. Remember that you are not alone.
Author: Mary-Anne Elizabeth Wright