Dealing with grief

By admin
09 December 2013

Living with loss can be really difficult and there are various stages that one needs to go through during the recovery process. Grief counsellor Louise Remond offers some useful advice to people dealing with the loss of a loved one.

Living with loss can be really difficult and there are various stages that one needs to go through during the recovery process.

Manarianz5 on Flickr Manarianz5 on Flickr

The first reaction to such a sudden loss is usually shock. It takes your brain time to process and come to terms with the loss – you just can’t believe it has happened. Grief counsellor Louise Remond offers some useful advice to people dealing with the loss of a loved one.

The four stages of grief:

Everyone experiences grief differently; each person will go through different emotions because we’re all individuals. So if you’re dealing with grief you aren’t expected to behave a certain way. Just behave how you feel. There are however some common stages of grieving and a combination of these can form part of the process of accepting what has happened.

  1. Denial. It takes a lot of adjustment to comprehend such a big loss. You still expect the loved one to phone you or show up on your doorstep.
  2. Bargaining. Thoughts such as, ‘‘If I hadn’t gone to the party my friend would still be here’’, ‘‘Why wasn’t it me?’’ or, ‘‘What if . . . ’’ are part of this stage.
  3. Anger. It’s normal to experience anger when you’ve lost someone you love. Some people question why it happened, which leads to feelings of anger. But it’s a question that isn’t easily answered, if at all.
  4. Depression. It can occur when the reality of the loss finally sinks in. Overwhelming feelings of sadness and helplessness dominate this stage.

The harsh reality of grief

Having friends and relatives constantly around you, a funeral to attend and keeping busy can extend your initial feeling of shock. But when everything settles down and life begins to return to normal the grief process should move on and you’ll begin to accept what’s happened. Eventually the good days outweigh the bad. You’ll get to a point where there’ll be things you still react to and get upset about, such as memories of that person, but you need to accept this as part of the grieving process. When you lose a friend it’s difficult to move on with your life. You’re likely to feel guilty for having a good time, especially if you’re doing something your friend would’ve loved. ‘‘You should understand that you’ve found a special place in your memories for them and it’s okay to move on with life,’’ Louise says.

Let it all out – in your own way

‘‘Talk to someone about your loss – a friend, a parent or a counsellor – because sometimes just talking can help you process your emotions,’’ Louise says. For some people an outlet such as writing, painting or even sport can be therapeutic. ‘‘Whatever works for you. The big thing is not to shut down – that’s a form of repressing your emotions, which isn’t good for you.’’

Source: YOU Magazine: 04 May 2006

If you feel overwhelmed by your grief or you’re worried about how a friend is coping talk to someone about your feelings. Call Life Line’s National Crisis Line on 0861 322 322 or Childline on 0800 055 555 for help and advice.

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