Managing Grief: How To Handle A Loss

We live in difficult times, and the Covid-19 Pandemic has caused an enormous amount of loss for many. If you have experienced a loss, know that you are not alone. Know also that there are healthy ways to deal with grief, and healing is possible.

When do we experience grief?

Grief is a natural reaction to loss. It’s a series of emotional responses that you may have when you lose someone or something you value.

Grief is most often associated with the loss of a loved one. However, you can experience grief whenever you have to say goodbye to something of value in your life.

You may experience grief when you sell your family home or your children move away. You might experience intense grief when you lose a beloved pet. It is also normal to grieve when you retire from your job or are diagnosed with a chronic health condition.

There are no rules about what can or should trigger the grief response. The trick is to recognize when you are grieving and actively deal with the feels that are evoked.

The Grieving Process:

In the late 1960s, renowned psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was the first to write extensively on the grieving process in her book “On Death and Dying.”

She identified five groups of emotions that people experience when they suffer a loss.

1. Denial

When you first hear the news that a loved one has passed, your first response is often disbelief. This is the psyche’s way of protecting itself from harm and is a normal reaction to loss.

2. Anger

Once the reality of the loss sets in, it’s not unusual to feel angry. You may feel angry that your loved one left you. You might feel irritable and short-tempered for no apparent reason.

This is also a normal reaction to loss and will pass with time.

3. Bargaining

When you have lost something of great value to you, it leaves you feeling vulnerable.

To try to overcome this feeling of powerlessness, you might find yourself trying to strike a deal with God to reverse your loss.

“I will never sin again if you take the pain of grief away,” is a common thought.

This is your mind’s way of protecting yourself from the helplessness you experience when something or someone is taken away from you.

4. Sadness

One of the most important emotions to recognize when you are grieving is a deep and profound sadness.

You may or may not cry, depending on your copying style. There is no right or wrong way to experience your sadness.

The most important thing is that you experience it. Avoiding your feelings of sadness or trying “to be strong” will only prolong the grieving process.

5. Acceptance

When you have lost something precious to you, it may take time to adjust. However, in almost all cases, your ability to cope with the loss grows.

It is important to remember that you will never forget your loved one.

The loss will always remain a pivotal moment in your life. However, your ability to live with the loss will increase with time.

How to cope with loss?

1. Take care of your health

When you are experiencing loss, you are likely to be under a lot of emotional stress.

This can compound any underlying health conditions that you may have, such as diabetes or heart disease. You must take your medication, eat regular meals, and try some moderate exercise.

Visit your doctor for regular checkups.

2. Seek Support

While you may feel inclined to withdraw from social activities during a time of loss, social support is beneficial.

Allow those who love you to comfort you. Speak to your friends and family about how you feel.

Get involved in community activities and reach out to others who have experienced loss.

3. Be kind to yourself

There is sometimes a lot of value placed on ‘being strong’ in the face of adversity. However, it is important to allow yourself the time and space to grieve.

There is nothing wrong with crying or having emotional outbursts when you are suffering.

This is the healthiest path to overcoming your loss.

4. Know when to seek help

Grief can be difficult, but it is a natural reaction to loss. However, in some cases, you may need professional help to work through your grief.

Reach out to a professional grief counselor or health practitioner if you:

  • Feel like life isn’t worth living
  • Wish you had died with your loved one
  • Blame yourself for the loss or for failing to prevent it
  • Feel numb and disconnected from others for more than a few weeks
  • Are having difficulty trusting others since your loss
  • Are unable to perform your normal daily activities


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