Understanding and Dealing With Grief

By: Richard "Ritty" Polhemu
Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Dealing with grief is hard. For some people, it’s the hardest thing they’ll ever have to go through. It’s an entirely subjective experience that’s unique to the individual person, and their loss. The same person may grieve differently for a parent than they would a friend. There is no “one size fits all” approach to dealing with grief. However, understanding it fully can help put you on the path to healing.

Some Facts About Grief

The most important thing to remember about grief is that it’s completely normal. Everyone faces it at some point in their lives. However, this does not minimize it’s difficulty. Perhaps what makes it even more complicated is the fact that it’s hard to prepare for, because not everyone has the same experience.

Grief is not linear. There are common stages - denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance - but there’s no correct order in which to experience them, and not everyone will experience all the stages. Grief also has its own timeline and schedule. For some people, it hits immediately. Others may not begin their grieving process until days, weeks, months, or possibly even years after the loss. It can come in waves. You may find that there are days where it is less impactful than others. Additionally, there’s no set rule for how long grieving takes. Some move through it more quickly than others. One thing is for sure, though - the only way out of grief is to work through it.

Accepting Loss

After a loss, it’s important that you allow yourself time to absorb what has happened. It’s okay to be emotional. Some may urge you to “stay strong,” but it’s crucial that you allow your emotions to voice themselves. If you’re feeling sad, it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to feel. It doesn’t make you weak or crazy. It’s just normal.

Losing someone you care about can leave a deep void in your life, and it may never be filled in the same way. Though losing a loved one is terrible, remember it’s not something that’s within your power to change. Many people may feel guilt or a lack of closure after a passing. These unresolved feelings are normal, but they often lead people to wish that they could somehow change the outcome.

When dealing with grief, try not to focus solely on your loved one’s death. Take the time to mourn their passing, but also remember to focus on the positive influences, deeds, and achievements of their life. While feeling the loss of their active presence, you can also embrace the good things that they brought to your life.

Grief is a statement of love. It shows that someone had an impact on your life - that their presence changed you in some way. Some people think, whether consciously or subconsciously, that moving on is a sign of indifference or lack of caring toward the one who has passed. Thinking this way, they force themselves to stay in mourning for an extended period of time. Remember, moving forward is not the same thing as moving on or forgetting. Life goes on, and so must we. Your loved one wouldn’t want you to live forever in a state of mourning, would they?

Celebrate Their Life

It’s helpful to remember and celebrate aspects of your loved one’s life, rather than their death. As you move forward, try infusing tiny portions of their life into yours. Go to their favorite places, or make their favorite food. If they had a favorite piece of jewelry, wear it. Making the things they loved part of your life can help you feel their presence even after they’re gone. If you miss the ability to talk with your loved one, write them letters instead. Continuing to talk to them, even if it’s one-sided, can be very cathartic and help the grieving process tremendously.

Remember You’re Not Alone

When someone you love passes away, the grief can be so powerful that you feel the need to cut yourself off from the rest of the world. While taking a short amount of time to be alone with your thoughts may be helpful, staying locked away from the world for an extended period of time will only magnify the pain and emptiness you feel.

Most importantly, remember that you don’t have to deal with your grief on your own. There’s still a foundation of friends, family, and possibly even co workers that love and care about you. You can reach out to others you know who’ve experienced a loss similar to yours for tips on dealing with grief. If you feel you can’t connect with the people you know, there are many online support groups catering to a wide variety of groups suffering from loss. In addition, you can also seek the help of grief counselors or therapists specializing in bereavement and mourning.

Dealing with Grief - Finding the Right Resources

Grief is enough of a load to carry in and of itself. Unfortunately, when dealing with a death of a loved one, there are so many other issues that also need to be attended to. In addition to the loss of the person, there are secondary losses to deal with - possibly the loss of insurance, the loss of a provider, the loss of a future with a spouse, or the loss of a role in life, like that of a parent or child.

When you’re dealing with grief, you want to find a funeral director that will make the experience easier for you, not more difficult. At Polhemus Cremation Services, we understand how difficult it can be to manage your grief while also dealing with the other legal and financial aspects that come with a loss. We strive to be the caring and attentive guide to help you through all the different processes. From funeral planning services to legal advice, we can make sure all the minutia is taken care of so you can focus on celebrating the life of your loved one. Get in touch with us today if you have any questions or want to learn more.   

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