Date: Jan 2018
We tend to calculate the severity of our losses in order to justify our mourning or lack thereof.
Death is considered the ultimate loss, and often when we think of grief, we think only of death.
However, there are many forms of loss that can be part of the grieving process.
Recognizing the pain and taking actions towards recovery are key for healing.
Loss Can Come in Many Forms
There are many types of loss associated with grief.
Some examples of personal loss can be:
- End of marriage/relationship
- Loss of job
- Infertility or loss of pregnancy
- Loss of health
- Financial hardship
Stuffing Grief Leads to Physical Consequences
Many of us ignore or fail to recognize the depth of our loss. It is often easier to have a stiff upper lip and keep moving, rather than stop, listen to our self and care for our pain. When we dismiss our grief in work, social engagements, and chores, we risk both emotional and physical consequences.
Grief un-dealt with may manifest into:
- Weakened immunity
- Changes in weight
- Physical pains
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Relationship difficultes
Why do we avoid the pain of our personal loss?
Usually, when we bury our pain it is because we feel a sense of shame, fear, or I can not deal with this now. We assume that grieving will make us look weak and keep us from living our lives as before. Therefore, we refuse to permit ourselves the time to mourn and recover.
However, it is important to remember that grief is like love but in a different form. It is love for yourself.
Allowing the Process of Healing to Take Place
Instead of avoiding grief, we can begin our healing process by:
1. Self care
Reorienting our relationship to grief as an act of tenderness towards ourselves is beneficial because it removes the fear and shame from the grieving process.
Consider your approach towards your personal loss as moments you give to yourself. It is during this time of mourning you meet your own need.
2. Seek face-to-face support from people who care about you
Recovering is not something you can do alone. Isolating oneself can often worsen or prevent proper healing to occur. Seeking face-to-face support encourages us not to hide or become overwhelmed by our grief.
You can reach out to family and friends for day-to-day support or visit a professional to gain vital tools, practices, and comfort to help you effectively heal.
3. Understand that your grieving process is unique to you
Just as we all express love differently, we all experience loss differently. Loss for some might manifest as guilt or anger, while for others it will look like shock or sadness.
Try not to compare your grief or grieving process with others around you. As you are unique, so is your grieving process. Exercise and meditation might help one person heal, while art, prayer and group therapy might help another. Respect your grieving process.
Loss cannot be calculable. It cannot be pushed aside. Anne Roiphe said, “Grief is in two parts. The first is loss. The second is the remaking of life.”
Loss is unique and deeply personal. It is vital to recognize our grief and then actively engage in our own recovery process. When we take time and effort to properly care for our grief, we can find beauty in healing.
If you have experienced a loss in your life and are struggling through the grieving process, I will help you, I am a licensed professional counselor.
Call me, Rebecca Phipps, MA, LPC, CCPS and set up an appointment at: 469-213-6400.