The Journey Through Grief and Loss

Sadness after a lossWhat is Grief?

Grief is a normal process that we all experience after a loss of some kind. Some losses may be more obvious to us than others, so we will expect to grieve them, but sometimes we may find ourselves grieving for something even though we didn't expect to.

Here is a list of some things that may cause us to grieve (some of them may surprise you!):

Grief is a normal process

There are certain stages in the grieving process that everyone will go through after a loss. The important thing is to recognise that what you are going through is normal and to accept the process.

Unfortunately grief doesn't go away just because you want it to, no matter how much we would like to "snap out of it" or try to pretend that it isn't happening. The more you fight it, the more painful the process will be.

Antidepressants are not the answer

Some people may try to avoid grieving by resorting to anti-depressants. While this may help them function initially, the grief will remain unresolved and can cause a lifetime of depression.  In order to function without anti-depressants, they will eventually have to succumb to the grief process and let it run its course. While grief may not be the most "comfortable" experience to go through, it is an important part of personal growth.

Because we are all different, we will grieve differently, so don't assume that you will experience the grief stages in the same order as someone else.

Don't do it alone

Remember, although grief is a lonely process, you don't have to go through it alone. Seek out supportive family and friends who will allow you to talk it through with them. If you feel overwhelmed by your grief, seek the help of a counsellor, pastor or other helping professional.

The stages of grief

A picture of someone in shock Shock - You can't believe what has happened, and you're confused about why it has happened. You feel numb.
A picture of someone in denial Denial - You can't believe it could have happened to you or your family.
A picture of someone who is really upset Being Really Upset - You feel heartbroken, burst into tears and feel like crying for a long time.
A picture of someone who is really sad and unhappy Feeling Really Sad and Unhappy - You feel gloomy, heavy hearted, choked up inside, down in the dumps. You are still crying at times.
A picture of someone who is feeling alone Feeling Alone - You feel lonely, like no one else has had the same experience, or could feel the same as you, or could know how you feel.
A picture of someone who is feeling guilty Feeling Guilty - You feel lousy because you think that maybe you somehow caused what happened or that you could have stopped it from happening.
A picture of someone who is feeling angry Feeling Angry - You feel like you hate what happened, hate the world, your parents or family, maybe even your friends and yourself.
A picture of someone who is wishing the person would come back Wishful Thinking - You begin to remember only the good things and times with the person and you wish that they would come back. You start to forget the not so good things.
A picture of someone who is getting back to normal Getting Back to Normal - Starting to feel less upset about things now, beginning to see that sometimes you can feel OK and that maybe life can go on again.
A picture of someone who is accepting their loss Accepting It - You don't feel happy about it, but you realise that it has happened and it can't be undone and you've stopped pretending it hasn't happened.
A picture of people who are getting on with their lives Getting On - You realise that life does go on for you and everyone else and that you can feel happy again.

"You will know the truth and the truth will set you free." John 8:32