Understanding what grief is

What is grief? Grief is your bodies response to the death of a person (or loss of something else significant). All people respond to grief differently and in their own time. In this article we hope to help you with understanding what grief is.

Some people like to be around people, and others like to be alone. Some get back to normal routine swiftly and others take considerably longer. How people grieve depends on the situation around their loss, as well as past experiences of grief. There is no right or wrong way to grieve and go through bereavement.

Understanding the process of grief has helped me so much

Be kind to yourself through grief

There are symptoms for uncomplicated and complicated grief. They may include

Symptoms of uncomplicated grief

  • Feeling like you see them or hear them
  • Looking for reminders of the person who has passed
  • Guilt about not feeling initial pain about the loss , getting on with routine life, not initially feeling pain
  • Feeling like the loss is not real
  • Feeling disconnected from friends
  • Symptoms of poor sleep, fearfulness, low mood

Symptoms of complicated grief

  • Push away painful feelings
  • Avoid thinking about your loss entirely
  • Excessive avoidance of talking about the person
  • Using tasks to distract you to avoid thinking about the loss
  • Use of alcohol, drugs, prescription medication to an alleviated level
  • Neglecting your own self-care
  • Still being in isolation after a year of the loss

What can I do to get through this?

Understandably, the loss of a person things can be very difficult to grasp. However, with the right support, over time, things will improve.

What can I do to cope?

Contact grief support for help before you need it. We recommend The Grief Centre or contacting your family doctor as a starting point.

It is important to be kind to yourself. Below are a few things you could try to help manage the feelings you are experiencing.

What can I do?

  • Firstly, take time to: Cry, sleep, talk to someone, reminisce
  • Secondly, let people know how they can support you
  • Similarly, let people know you are not running to full strength and capacity and may need time
  • When you are ready, do the activities you enjoy
  • Most importantly, pay attention to your own self-care
    • Physical activity can help with your mood
    • Eat well
    • Get proper sleep when you can

HonourThem has a Grief Support page with information to help you.

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