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Coping with Grief

If you have ever lost someone, you know how overwhelming and painful grief can be.
It typically comes in 5 stages.

The 5 stages of grief are usually understood to be:

Denial: This can’t be happening to me.

Anger: Why is this happening?

Bargaining: Make this not happen, and I will do anything.

Depression: I’m too sad to do anything.

Acceptance: I’m at peace with what happened.

Symptoms of grief can be emotional, physical, social, or religious in nature. Grief can actually take it’s toll on you physically, not just mentally. Grief increases inflammation, which can worsen health problems you already have and cause new ones. It batters the immune system, leaving you depleted and vulnerable to infection. The heartbreak of grief can also increase blood pressure, cause weight loss/gain, nausea, fatigue and insomnia. Mental and emotional symptoms are depression, shock, disbelief, rage, anger, guilt and fear. All normal emotions to experience during grief.

Waves of grief can come and go over the months, and even years. We all struggle differently.
The sadness typically diminishes in intensity as time passes, but grieving is an important process in order to overcome these feelings and and continue to embrace the time you had with your loved one. We never truly get over the loss of someone, but we learn how to manage the loss and live with the memories we made with our loved one.

Although grief is incredibly difficult, it is important to ensure we are looking after ourselves during the process. Lack of appetite and sleep are very common, but can increase the toll grief takes on the body.
Having small bites to eat throughout the day will help keep your body fueled, and although sleep may seem impossible, a few hours of sleep here and there is crucial.

There are also some helpful ways to cope with the grieving process.

  • Acknowledge your pain.
  • Accept that grief can trigger many different and unexpected emotions.
  • Understand that your grieving process will be unique to you.
  • Seek out face-to-face support from people who care about you.
  • Support yourself emotionally by taking care of yourself physically.
  • Don’t hold in your emotions. Cry and cry again if you need to.
  • Find an emotional outlet. This can come in the form of exercise, drawing, making music- anything that helps you express the emotions you are feeling

Whatever you do, know you are not alone through the pain. The pain of grief can often cause you to want to withdraw from others and retreat into your shell. But having the face-to-face support of other people is vital in the healing process. Even if you’re not comfortable talking about your feelings under normal circumstances, it’s important to express them when you’re grieving. Comfort can also come from just being around others who care about you without speaking of the loss.. The key is not to isolate yourself.

If you feel as though you have no one close to you that you can do this with, there are other alternatives.
Support groups, church groups, grief counselors and other forms of therapists.

Remember, we all mourn differently. And it is important to mourn, our bodies need it to help deal with the loss. Don’t ever feel bad for grieving or coping with loss. Let your emotions out and take your time grieving.

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