Grief is a natural, yet complex, response to loss. Because our reactions, both emotional and physical, can be intense, it is essential that our self-care is patient in grief.
Grief is present in the loss of anything important to us, like a loved one, a pet, a relationship, or a job. But we also deal with grief for other major life changes like empty nesting, moving, or retirement.
In 1969, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, a Swiss-American psychiatrist, established the stages of grief adopted as the standard by healthcare professionals. She points out that the grieving process is not a linear activity or a formula. Every person’s grief experience will be unique. We may experience all the stages, but the order or intensity of each stage is as unpredictable as the time needed to move forward in acceptance.
After a series of life-changing events, I finally realized I was floating on a vast ocean of grief. Read more of my story here. To control and ignore my emotions, I suffered from mental and physical exhaustion. Professional counseling helped me sort out my feelings and get myself back on a healthy track.
What I Learned in my Grief
Here are a few key points I learned:
- Grief is hard, and no one deals with it the same way. Someone doesn’t always have to die for you to enter grieving.
- Feelings are not good or bad. I can’t ignore them. They are an important part of who I am, plus there are helpful and unhelpful ways to express my feelings.
- Healing takes time, and I define how much time I need.
- I need to practice hope, grace, and patience with myself.
- God is with me every step of the way.
- I can do anything one day at a time!
Self-care can begin by recognizing feelings and processing them in a way that is most helpful to us. To find information about the five stages of grief, their definitions, and advice to cope, visit loveliveson.com. Please seek professional help if you feel overwhelmed.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.Psalms 34:18