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Despair – a grieving person can feel despair and feel at a loss as to how they will cope and what their future life will hold.
Numbness – it can often feel like you are living in a “fog” after the loss of a loved one. You may feel numb or worry that you have not cried, but feeling numb is often a coping mechanism when experiencing intense emotional situations. Gradually over time the feeling of numbness subsides, allowing us to start functioning and healing.
Physical symptoms of grief
When grieving it is common to experience physical symptoms, such as:
• Loss or increase in appetite
• Difficulty in sleeping
• Lethargy – feeling drained, having no energy • Headaches
It is important to be kind to yourself and give yourself the time and care that you need to transition through the grieving process.
Coping with grief
As with the many different factors that contribute to how we express our grief there are also various processes that can help us to cope:
Give yourself time – focus on one day at a time, helping you to cope with your emotions and get through simple, everyday tasks.
Recognize your emotions – recognize the reasons for your emotions and symptoms, even the physical ones. When experiencing them give yourself time to work through them.
Support from family and friends – having a support network of family and friends can be extremely helpful. If you do not have this type of network then support can often be found through counseling services.
Talk about your grief – talking, whether about your feelings or about your loved one, with family, friends or a dedicated grief counselor is an important part of the grief process.
Sometimes our grief can become overwhelming and it is important to recognize when to get additional help. Part of the process is to acknowledge that life will not return to normal - it is about understanding that your life has changed and finding a balance between the two.
Working through your grief is not about forgetting the person but about learning how to live your life with the grief that you feel.
Over time your life will take on a new shape and meaning.
“There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without but have to let go.” – Author Unknown
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