As you face your journey of grief you probably have a feeling of emptiness and might be thinking that happiness is far in your future. It might seem like there is not anything positive in your life after your loss. It is easy to think about the negative things in life, especially when dealing with grief. Why should you be positive when it seems like you have lost so much?
We often hear that grief is a journey. In many ways, it is a trip without a roadmap or a path that we have not been on before. It is a journey that has dark places and often is bumpy. You may be wondering how you will survive this trip and what will be at the end of the road. You might even think that you can avoid this journey altogether by denying the loss but this will only prolong your journey of grief.
As you know, grief is one of the most difficult experiences you may face. It is a pain that just does not seem to stop. Finding ways to cope with grief is a challenge for many people. There is not a single answer to managing grief as grief is different for each person. Even though we are on a similar journey of losing someone we love, our path through grief is not the same. You must actively find ways to cope with your feelings of grief.
Have you ever wondered if grieving serves a purpose? It is hard to believe that grieving serves a purpose, but it does. Grieving helps us with the change we are experiencing and it helps with healing. Dealing with grief can be painful and it is natural to want to ignore grief but it needs to be addressed. When you first learn about the loss, it can be natural to deny the death. This mechanism of denial may be a way to escape until you find the support you need.
You have probably heard that grief is a process. It is one where we eventually accept our loss and find ways to move forward. When someone close to us dies it is like part of us dies with that person. After the death of a spouse or someone close, you may find yourself operating in a new environment as part of “you” is missing. Part of our identity comes from our relationships. You may be a wife, mother, sister, aunt, or best friend. Part of who you are is connected with the other person.
As we think of the new year and grief, self-care plays an integral role in healing. It takes time to heal. Those of us who are experiencing grief know that it is easy to neglect our physical needs while grieving. You just don’t feel like doing what you used to do as part of “we” is gone. Yet, the stress of grief can impact us physically and emotionally.