Grief isn’t a “one size fits all”

The loss of someone close to us whether it be a partner, a parent, friend or other family member is always distressing. It would be a very strange world if we didn’t feel the loss of somebody we had known for a significant part of our lives. Grief is a natural normal process to help us come to terms with the gap in our lives that the death of a loved one leaves.

That space can never be filled by another as the person who is gone was unique and leaves a space that only they could fit perfectly. For some people that loss is felt as a physical thing, they keep expecting the person to be in certain places at certain times. For example, sat in front of the TV for a favourite programme, in the garden, coming in from work and so on.

For some of us that person is snatched away through illness, accident or some other event that was unexpected and this makes the distress all the more painful. We may feel cheated, we may feel it is unjust or even just plain wrong.

Regardless of the reason for our loss the distress is real and so painful. We can feel our own loss and know how that hurts but we can never know what it is like for another to lose a person close to them. Our understanding of another’s grief is based upon what that loss would feel like for us not what it feels like for them. If you’re interested in other people’s perspectives of grief, try Griefcast or check out Griefcase for tips on coping.

Different cultures experience and cope with grief in different ways. Managing our loss and our grief is personal to each of us. We have different needs to help us get through our loss; some people throw themselves into activity to help cope with the distress; others become immobilised by the pain; some try to carry on as though nothing has happened; still others become angry and look for someone to blame.

The hope is that at some point we will come to accept the loss and begin to rebuild our own lives and take the memory of our loved one on a new journey or direction that is prompted by the change in our circumstances. Those memories and a celebration of all that person was to us may help to drive a renewed sense of purpose for ourselves and those around us, and help us to recall and enjoy the best memories of that person rather than remember any bitterness or anger that the passing initially brought.

Grief is a normal process, it is there as a coping mechanism to give those still alive a way of keeping going while they come to terms with a new way of being in the world without the companionship of their loved one. It does not need to be treated, it does not follow a pattern and it definitely doesn’t mean there is something “wrong” with you if you don’t go back to “normal” within a certain time frame. However, if you do need some help to process what you’ve been through, please contact us today

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