Grief, Loss, Bereavement

Grief, Loss, Bereavement

By Susanna Hoare

Losing someone we love who has been precious to us is painful and coping with bereavement is a traumatic experience bringing up many uncomfortable emotions.  It can seem as if the pain and suffering will never go away.

Grief is the natural response to loss and in the process of coming to terms with loss we may be surprised at the range of our responses which can vary from shock, confusion and numbness to periods of sadness, depression and anger.

Grief is like an ocean, it comes in waves ebbing and flowing.  Sometimes the water is calm and sometimes it is overwhelming.

There is no one right way to grieve.  Each of us has our own unique way which will be formed by the relationship we had with the one we have lost.

Loss impacts us bodily.  We may find ourselves feeling exhausted, suffering from insomnia, having weight gain or weight loss.  We may find ourselves suffering from anxiety, struggling to concentrate, being angry.  Maybe we find ourselves shrinking away from others,  or maybe we want to be close to others.  The ground beneath our feet no longer feels solid, we feel overwhelmingly lonely, that no-one understands our suffering and despair.

Sometimes our response to grief is to block it out and soldier on not allowing ourselves to feel our emotions no matter what they are.  Bottling things up and avoiding our feelings can lead to increased stress.

The bleakness of winter when life lies dormant is a good representation of the darkness and despair we feel around grief.

There comes a time when darkness and despair begin to shift and the desire to come back to living your life emerges.  The sun which has been obscured by clouds gradually begins to shine once more so the relationships that you were familiar with are now changed but not forgotten.

Reconnecting with the things that resource you, people, activities, helps to rebuild your life.  Review your experience holding in mind what has helped and explore what you need now to help with your healing.

“The things that matter most in our lives are not fantastic or grand.  They are moments when we touch each other.”       

Jack Kornfield


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