Grief is a natural response to loss, and it is universal.
Bereavement is a type of grief involving the death of a loved one.
Oftentimes, the pain of loss can feel devastating. You may experience a roller coaster of emotions, from shock or anger to doubt, guilt, and profound sadness. The pain of grief can also disrupt your physical health, making it difficult to sleep, eat, or even think straight. These reactions to loss are normal and the more significant is the loss, the more intense your grief will be.
Coping with the loss of someone/something you love is one of life’s biggest challenges. You may associate grieving with the death of a loved one which is often the cause of the most intense type of grief, but any loss can cause grief, including: losing a job, divorce or break up, a miscarriage, retirement, death of a pet, selling the family home etc.
The grieving process is an individual experience, and everyone responds differently.
The five stages of grief:
- Denial: “This can’t be happening to me.”
- Anger: “Why is this happening? Who is to blame?”
- Bargaining: “If only I had called her that night, she wouldn't be gone now."
- Depression: “I am too sad to do anything.”
- Acceptance: “I am at peace with what happened.”
Every person goes through these phases in his or her own way. You may go back and forth between them or skip one or more stages. Reminders of your loss, like the anniversary of a death or hearing a familiar song, can trigger the return of grief.
How to deal with the grieving process:
- Acknowledge your pain and don’t be afraid to ask for help;
- Talk to friends and family about how you are feeling or consider joining a support group;
- Accept that grief can trigger many different and unexpected emotions;
- Understand that your grieving process will be unique to you;
- Take care of your physical health. Grieving can be exhausting, so it's important to eat a healthy diet, exercise and sleep;
Recognize the difference between grief and depression;
Do things you enjoy, even if you don’t really feel like doing them;
Grief therapy may be helpful for someone experiencing very intense grief that lasts for a long time and prevents engaging in daily life activities;