Helping yourself Heal

 

You can try to suppress your grief, but you can’t avoid it forever. In order to heal, you have to acknowledge the pain by facing your feelings; Trying to avoid feelings of sadness and  by loss only prolongs the grieving process. Unresolved grief can also lead to complications such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and health problems.

Its more important than ever to be kind to yourself and making sure that you are taking good care of yourself. The stress of a major loss can quickly deplete your energy and emotional reserves. Looking after your physical and emotional needs will help you get through the low difficult times.

Suggestions for facing up to and managing distressing emotions like grief :

  1. Writing about your loss in a journal will help you to outwardly express your feelings in a tangible creative way. If you’ve lost a loved one, writing them a letter saying the things you never got to say, making a scrapbook or photo album celebrating the person’s life; or getting involved in a cause or organisation that was important to your loved one will help you to begin to understand and accept the reality your loss.                                        

  2. Look after your physical health. The mind and body are connected.  Feeling healthy physically helps to create better emotional coping strategies. Combat stress and fatigue by getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising. Be mindful that alcohol and drugs to numb the pain of grief or lift your mood will only do so artificially and in order to heal, you have to acknowledge the pain by facing your feelings.                                  

  3. Don’t let anyone tell you how to feel, and don’t tell yourself how to feel either. Your grief is your own, and no one else can tell you when it’s time to “move on” or “get over it.” Let yourself feel whatever you feel without embarrassment or judgment. It’s okay to be angry, to yell at the heavens, to cry or not to cry. It’s also okay to laugh, to find moments of joy, and to let go when you’re ready.                            

  4. Try to maintain your daily routines, hobbies and interests. There's comfort in being occupied in the activities that bring you joy and keeping you connected to others can help you come to terms with your loss and aid the grieving process.                                             

  5. Plan ahead for grief “triggers.” Anniversaries, holidays, and milestones can reawaken memories and feelings. Be prepared for an emotional wallop, and know that it’s completely normal. If you’re sharing a holiday or lifecycle event with other relatives, talk to them ahead of time about their expectations and agree on strategies to honour the person you loved.

You Are Not Alone
The Grieving Process

 

There’s no right or wrong way to grieve; it  is a highly individual experience based on many factors, including your personality and coping style, your life experience, your faith, and how significant the loss was to you.

 

Your feelings may happen in stages as you come to terms with your loss. Whilst  you cannot  control that process  knowing your reasons behind your feelings can be a tremendous help.

The five most common stages of grief identified by doctors are:

  1. Denial: When you first learn of a loss your defence mechanism may kick in. You may feel shock or numb.  Your thoughts may turn to rationalising your thinking as  “This isn’t happening.” or maybe " this isn't true". This is a temporary way to deal with the rush of overwhelming emotion.                               

  2. Anger: As reality sets in, you’re faced with the pain of your loss. Helplessness and frustration may appear that later turns into anger in not being able to change anything. You might direct it toward other people, God or another higher order, or life in general. During this stage, you dwell on what you could’ve done to prevent the loss. Common thoughts are “If only…” and “What if…” You may also try to strike a deal with a higher power.       

  3. Bargaining: Helpless and vulnerable feelings that may emerge might trigger the need to regain control. This is a normal reaction. Your thoughts may completely overwhelm you, secretly, we may make a deal with God or our higher power in an attempt to postpone the inevitable. This is a weaker line of defence to protect us from the painful reality and scenario's such as telling yourself ......                                                                                       ......If only we had sought medical                   attention sooner.                                                                                                 ......If only we got a second opinion                 from another doctor.                                                                                       ......If only we had tried to be a better             person toward them.                                               

  4. Depression: Sadness sets in as you begin to understand the loss and its effect on your life. Signs of depression include crying, sleep issues, and a decreased appetite. You may feel overwhelmed, regretful, and lonely.        

  5. Acceptance: In this final stage of grief, you accept the reality of your loss. It can’t be changed. Although you still feel sad, you’re able to start moving forward with your life.

Every person goes through these phases in his or her own way. Inevitably, the grieving process takes time and healing happens gradually; it can’t be forced or hurried—and there is no “normal” timetable for grieving. You may go back and forth between them, or skip one or more stages altogether feeling better in weeks or months. For others, the grieving process maybe measured in years. Whatever your grief experience, it’s important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold.

 

Grief Counsellor
Louisa DuBarry-Hennessy 
Accepting a Loss

 

As  you begin to accept your loss the difficult emotions become less intense and you will start to move forward with your life. However, if you are not feeling better over time, or your grief is getting worse, it may be a sign that your grief has developed into a more serious problem, such as complicated grief or major depression.

 

Don't be afraid to seek face-to-face support. Even if your not comfortable talking about your feelings under normal circumstances, it’s important to express them when you’re grieving. The key is not to isolate yourself but find the strength to interact with your friends and family members, talk to a therapist or grief counsellor; An experienced therapist/grief councillor  can help you work through intense emotions and overcome obstacles to your grieving.

 

Draw comfort from your faith. If you follow a religious tradition, embrace the comfort its mourning rituals can provide. Spiritual activities that are meaningful to you such as praying, meditating, or going to church can offer solace. If you’re questioning your faith in the wake of the loss, talk to a clergy member or others in your religious community.

 

Join a support group. Grief can feel very lonely, even when you have loved ones around. Sharing your sorrow with others who have experienced similar losses can help. To find a bereavement support group in your area, contact local hospitals, hospices, funeral homes, and counselling centres.

"I am still with you"
 

by Julie Johnson

If it seems that I am far away on this empty and solemn day,
Just open your heart and know it’s true,
that I am still right here, with you.
If during the day things are going wrong,
please don’t feel sad and alone.
Just open your heart and know it’s true,
that I am still right here, with you.
When night time falls and the day is done.

If you are feeling alone and sleep won’t come,
Just open your heart and know it’s true
that I am still right here, with you.
Close your eyes, and feel the warm embrace.
Sleep peacefully in the wings of grace.
If sadness finds you in the morning light,
if you feel alone, don’t give up trying!
Hold this feather close and know it’s true,
that I am always here, with you.

 

www.wingsofgrace.com

Death is nothing at all 
(All is Well)

By Canon Henry Scott-Holland


Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we are still are.

 

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way

which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

 

Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we always enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word

that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort.

Without the ghost of a shadow in it.

 

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

 

I am but waiting for you. 

For an interval
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

 

All is well.
 

Nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before only better, infinitely happier and forever we will all be one together with Christ.

We Are Here For You

 

Contact us now
to speak to someone directly
What is Grief

Regardless of whether your sadness stems from the loss of a loved one, the loss of health, or the letting go of a long-held dream  it is important to remind yourself  that loss is an inevitable part of life and grief, that strong sometimes overwhelming emotion people feel, is the natural reaction to loss and the healing process.

 

Remember you cannot control the grieving process and  there is no instant fix. Grief is both a universal, and a personal experience of varying emotional degrees influenced by the nature of the loss so don't be hard on yourself. Trying to understand your emotions and even seeking a professionals help are not a weakness but positive steps towards helping yourself heal. 

 

 

  1. Feel like life isn’t worth living

  2. Wish you had died with your loved one

  3. Blame yourself for the loss or for failing to prevent it

  4. Feel numb and disconnected from others     for more than a few weeks

  5. Are having difficulty trusting others since  your loss

  6. Are unable to perform your normal daily activities

Seek professional help if you:

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Caroline Small BSc (Hons) MSWW, Professional Will Writer & Funeral Celebrant