When we understand grief, its different possible stages and what each one can bring, we are better equipped to process it in a healthy way, thus allowing us to spend less time in the worst parts. Grief is absolutely overwhelming at times – it can literally make you want to pull the covers up over your head and hibernate in the peaceful sanctity of your bed for days on end. It can, in fact, take your breath away and cause you to burst into tears at the most unlikely moments. Grief can elicit feelings of guilt surrounding a multitude of things – mostly things that we wish we would have said and things we wish we would have done with or for our loved ones that have passed away. But, the good news is that you absolutely can feel joy again and without the guilt or shame that can sometimes be associated with it after losing someone we love.
In addition to helping ourselves, becoming educated about grief and grieving allows us to also help others who are grieving. We are now more prepared in knowing what is best to say and not say to those who are grieving. Often times, we will shy away from those who are grieving out of discomfort in knowing what to say or do and not wanting to say the wrong thing. By learning about and having a true understanding of grief and the emotions associated with it, we are able to lovingly support others who are experiencing those thoughts and feelings in a healthy way.
Grief experts agree that we were born knowing how to grieve, but some of us get programmed otherwise, and often it’s not even realized. The worst time to relearn those thought and emotion skills is while we are in the throws of grieving because it can be difficult to concentrate and be truly present. Not understanding your experience, especially when it’s an unexpected or sudden loss, can reduce your hope about the future and make it easier for the negative thoughts to take over. Consider a time in your life when you didn’t understand something significant and how that affected you – now consider how much your life was improved once you became informed and had an understanding of that something. This same scenario applies to grief and grieving. We will all experience loss and subsequent grief at some point in our lives and being educated on the subject can be the difference between becoming stuck in anger or depression, or becoming a resilient griever and finding joy again.
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