By: Lauren Griffith
Grief can be a challenging emotion to process, and everyone processes it very differently.
Sometimes, it takes people months or even years to move at their own pace through the stages of grief. And everyone processes this emotion in very different ways.
The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These five stages are not always a linear process. One week, you may feel anger; the next week, denial, then depression, or a mix of all at the same time.
When experiencing grief, it’s important not to hold yourself to a timeline. Try not to focus on how long the grief takes to feel lighter or fully “processed.” Treat yourself with kindness and grace during the suffering that you’re experiencing.
It’s also important to remember you may still be processing grief for months or years after losing a loved one. This is completely valid.
Many types of grief exist, including uncomplicated, anticipatory, inhibited, complicated, delayed, absent, cumulative, traumatic, collective and prolonged grief disorder. Each person may experience a different type, which means the individual processes of getting through the pain will look different to all.
WebMD offers some helpful advice if you’re trying to process and make sense of your grief and mixed emotions.
Instead of turning to harmful substances or actions to numb the emotional pain that grief brings, there are some other helpful techniques that you can try.
1. Giving yourself time
When experiencing grief, don’t put yourself on a timeline to move on. This will only make you feel more anxious and will not soothe your emotions in the long run. Instead, give yourself the time and space to truly feel and process your feelings. This is necessary on your healing journey.
2. Talking to others
Do not try to go through your grief alone. Talk to your closest family and friends about what you’re experiencing and how you feel, and let them know what you need from them. Lean on others, and know they genuinely want to help you by listening and letting you talk or cry with them.
3. Taking care of yourself
When grieving, do not neglect self-care. This doesn’t have to be anything extravagant like a massage or facial, but remember to feed yourself, get plenty of rest, move your body in small ways and be kind to yourself overall.
4. Returning to your hobbies
Returning to your hobbies after taking a grief period can feel like a big, difficult step. Little by little, try to pick back up the hobbies that used to bring you joy. They still can, but they will require a little more patience from you as you start them again. Try picking up your old favorite hobbies for a few hours each week, and go from there as you begin to enjoy them more.
5. Joining a support group
Joining a grief support group is one of the most important things you can do when processing grief. It’s beneficial to lean on others going through similar experiences and can relate to the depth of your emotions. To learn more about grief support options click here.
Stuhr Funeral Home, a trusted name in funeral service for more than 150 years, cares for families of those whose lives have ended. Stuhr Funeral Home is committed to providing quality arrangements to honor loved ones and family traditions. For more information about available funeral services, visit JHenryStuhr.com or call (843) 723-2524.