We experience grief...
"when an important or meaningful attachment bond is damaged or severed in some way" (Flesner, 2013).
Terms to Know:
GRIEF (personal response to the loss - emotional, physical, behavioral, cognitive, social & spiritual dimension).
MOURNING (outward & active expression of that grief).
BEREAVEMENT (period of time after the loss where grief and mourning occur.
1.) Acknowledge Your Grief
As much as it sucks, we need to tend to our grief by being with it, in all of it's pain & misery.
Avoiding is an option, but comes with severe consequences only delaying the inevitable.
2.) Grief is a Lifelong Journey
The pain of our loss never fully leaves us.
Grief comes in waves of accepting reality of the loss, experiencing pain of the loss, adjusting to a world without the deceased, and creating balance between remembering the deceased and living a full/meaningful life (Worden, 2009).
3.) Express Your Grief
It is very important to allow yourself to feel. You have to feel in order to heal.
Write a letter to your loved one
Paint a picture (of whatever comes to your mind)
Write a poem or song
Talk to a friend or family member
Talk to a counselor or therapist
Connect to a local bereavement support group
4.) Understand That We All Grieve Differently
Not everyone experiences grief with the same level of intensity.
We grieve differently based off our cultural & biological differences, past experiences (what we've been taught about death, dying and grief), & spiritual beliefs.
5.) Create Meaning in Your Life
Our healing period may bring new passions and even shift us into a new direction in life such as:
Starting a charity
Going back to school
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
Buglass, E. (2010). Grief and bereavement theories. Nursing Standard, 24(41), 44-47.
Flesner, J. M. (2013). A shift in the conceptual understanding of grief: Using meaning-orientated therapies with bereaved clients. Ideas & Research You Can Use: VISTAS, 25, 1-13.
(Based on Worden, J. W. (2009). Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy: A Handbook for the Mental Health Practitioner, Fourth Edition, Springer, N.Y.).