How to Deal with Grief and Loss

How to Deal with Grief and LossI sat across from a client recently who was trying to “convince” me that there was something wrong with her, something that she was not doing correctly.

The client had lost her sister suddenly in an accident over a year ago. She still picks up the phone to call her sister, still gets angry when she realizes her sister will not be there for a quick joke or recipe help, and still cries when certain memories pop into her head. My client thought she had been “through” the anger stage already and shouldn’t she have stopped crying by now, most of all what kind of crazy person tries to call someone who died a year ago?

Her reaction is not uncommon. Many people struggle with the process of how to deal with grief and loss. The reality is there are no rules when it comes to grieving. Even with the popular 5 stages of grief, not everyone deals with all five, and grief certainly is not linear. Most people wind through grief like a river, sometimes going back to feelings they’ve thought they have worked through only to experience again, sometimes dealing with fresh feelings that seem so absurd they struggle to understand what they mean. In his book “A Grief Observed” CS Lewis said:

“Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape.”

The important thing is not to fight against the current. It is important to honor your feelings, to feel and acknowledge them and allow yourself to work through them. When we ignore the pain, memories, sadness, and anger they don’t go away. Ultimately they will catch up to us, either in dysfunction, more pain, addiction, anger and many other issues we deal with today.

If you’re grieving, know that it is okay to be where you are. Remember that you don’t have to navigate your grief alone, surround yourself with friends, and family that can offer love and support. Find a group to identify with people who have experienced similar loss. Come in and talk with me, many people feel that meeting with a grief counselor, and not “burdening” their family and  friends, is what they need to heal their grieving process.

Learn more about my Grief Counseling today with my no-charge phone consultation.

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