Tuesday, 03 March 2020 06:10

How do you cope with grief?

In my line of work as a Professional Organiser who works with Seniors, I am faced with grief and loss on a daily basis. Clients giving up family homes and precious possessions, the loss of a partner or parent, serious illness, frailty, dementia, and loss of independence.

There is confusion, hurt, frustration, anger, and concern for the future. And all too often the grief and grieving process is overlooked or brushed aside while dealing with the practicalities of the situation.

Adult children are told to be strong, Seniors are encouraged to be positive and see the next chapter as an adventure, something new and exciting.

All the while, grief is stifled, loss is put in a box and people try valiantly to do the “right thing”. Holding their heads up, being strong, being positive, moving forward!

All of that is admirable, but is it healthy? I certainly don’t think so. I think in order for us to move forward in a healthy and positive way, we need to grieve, we need to express our loss, whatever that might be, and however we are able to.

As a family we experienced excruciatingly painful loss last year, and as I look back on the year, the one thing that stands out is how each of us is dealing with our grief. So differently! And that’s just it – grief and loss is unique to each one of us whatever the common denominator.

There is no right or wrong way, but it is always helpful to have ideas and guidelines on how to work through your loss, or support someone who is grieving. I have read so many articles on grieving and loss and have found good suggestions and tips. Here are a few:

  • Don’t pressure yourself or others to “just move on.”
  • Don’t judge the way someone else is dealing with their loss. We are all different.
  • Be gentle with yourself and try to understand that your feelings are completely normal.
  • if your feelings overwhelm you , don’t be afraid to  get the help of a qualified professional. A professional, unbiased ear in a safe environment can help enormously.
  • Seek support from family and friends who love you.
  • Take good care of yourself. Exercise, meditation, healthy eating, being outdoors, and  journaling can all help.
  • Ask for, and accept, help when needed and offered. Often friends don’t know what to say, so helping is a way of showing their sympathy and empathy.
  • Take time to grieve, and again how long it takes is different for each of us.

This is by no means a comprehensive list and I would love to hear how you were able to deal with your loss. It could help someone out there who is struggling with their own grief.

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