Everyone grieves differently. This is a life lesson that’s difficult to understand until you personally experience it. When that time finally comes, you may be blindsided to discover that people who are grieving alongside you do not experience grief the same way and, as a result, you don’t have the kind of support system you anticipated. Don’t despair. There are many ways to accept your unique, beautiful, painful grief, with or without the acknowledgement of others.
Agree to Disconnect
If you lose a parent and still have a parent remaining as well as siblings, these are the people you might expect to understand you and your feelings the most at such an unfathomable time. But sometimes, as it turns out, the people who love you the most get you the least.
Instead of trying to force connections through sadness, agree that you will go your separate ways for awhile or come together respectfully using different methods as you walk through grief. You might want to talk about the loss, they might want to watch movies and laugh. You might want to cry for 15 minutes every day, they might never shed a tear. If you acknowledge that the disconnect is there, you can look for ways to connect that do suit you both, which might help you get through the grief you’re experiencing.
Know Your Triggers
If you don’t want to find yourself sobbing at the drop of a hat, it may be necessary to temporarily remove certain reminders, or triggers, of whomever or whatever you have lost from your world, including:
- Photos: Put away physical, framed photos and create an album of hidden photos on your phone.
- Mementos: Use a special box to hold items your loved one gifted you or that remind you of the loss.
- Voicemails: Save these to your phone and delete the original files.
- Videos: Add these to a hidden file too or add them and your photos to a USB that takes more effort to plug in and hunt through.
- Clothing: Pack up the most visible clothes or those stored in shared areas and store them in a safe place.
Whether you are grieving a life, a pet, a relationship, a job, your health, or anything else, there will always be elements in your world that remind you of them. These reminders don’t have to disappear forever, but a temporary reprieve can help you get through the deepest of your feelings. One day you will be able to face the triggers again with a lighter heart.
Accept the Unknown
Some days your grief will be bigger than you. You won’t be able to put it into words to describe to yourself let alone someone else. You’ll cry or be depressed or feel so lost you can’t breathe. No matter who or what you’re grieving, understanding the grieving process is difficult. Remember, your feelings are valid. They will always be your feelings alone and only you can acknowledge the triggers that affect your mood and mental health.
Many people try to guide themselves through a difficult time by relying on the well-known “five stages of grief,” but these are not clear-cut stages – there is no solid timetable of grieving and no typical response to loss. Some people feel better in weeks, others take months or years to come back to themselves again. Some people never hit all five stages, and that’s okay.
Seek Help When You Need It
No two people have the same grieving process, and the ones you love might not be able to aid you in navigating this journey. However, being in a place where people recognize and respect that you are living in a grief-stricken, changing reality can help you find your way through grief and loss. Prioritize yourself and get the grief support you need when you need it, even if that means taking a break from the rest of your life to tend to your mental health.
Reach out to our holistic rehab center, Beachside Rehab, in Fort Pierce, Florida, for customized mental health care and grief support, whether you have recently lost someone, are struggling to manage the anniversary of a loss, or anything in between. Our facility offers inpatient and outpatient rehab and holistic recovery. Call today at 866-349-1770 to speak with a trained admissions counselor.
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