Human beings are mortal. We all know that, and knowing it does not stop us from being shocked when we actually lose a loved one. Some deaths are totally unexpected and others come after a battle with an illness. People respond differently to these losses, however there are some aspects of grief that seem universal.
You enter a tunnel and you are alone there. The world keeps going on and that seems preposterous. How can life go on as usual when your mother, your spouse, your child, a relative, or maybe your close friend has passed away? You know that other people have experienced loss and maybe even now are grieving, yet it feels as though you are the only one going through this.
You are not sleeping well, you wake up crying, you have little appetite. Perhaps your doctor has prescribed medication to help with the sadness that doesn’t seem to leave you. You miss the person who has died terribly. Maybe you play over scenes between you in your mind. Maybe there are regrets, things you wish you had said or done, or maybe not. Sometimes just when you think the grief has left you and you feel like yourself again, it sneaks up on you.The life you shared, or the usual phone calls or visits you had with the person you lost feel like a hole in your life once again.
“Grief is a wound that needs attention in order to heal. To work through and complete grief means to face our feelings openly and honestly….for however long it takes that wound to heal… It takes courage to feel our pain and to face the unfamiliar.It also takes courage to grieve in a society that mistakenly values restraint.” ( Judy Tatlebaum, The Courage to Grieve)
Talk therapy can be very helpful when you are filled with feelings of sadness due to the loss of a loved one. Some people prefer groups and others prefer individual , one on one sessions with a grief counselor.
Reaching out for help during these times can help you heal. Maybe not faster but certainly you can feel less alone with your grief.