Good grief How to cope with the jour­ney through sad­ness

The jour­ney from sad­ness to a new kind of nor­mal is tough, but it can teach so much and help you heal

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - November Contents -

grief can come in like a wreck­ing ball. It can leave you feel­ing lost, bro­ken, un­able to func­tion and, some­times, as though it phys­i­cally hurts to breathe. It’s like a sucker punch to your heart. Usu­ally, it’s as­so­ci­ated with the death of some­one close. Even when it’s ‘ex­pected’, los­ing some­one who’s a huge part of your life means los­ing a part of your­self. It means re­learn­ing how to ‘be’ in the world with­out them. It’s hard and it hurts like hell. TAK­ING IT PER­SON­ALLY Grief is in­tensely per­sonal. Even when you share the same loss with an­other per­son, it can look and feel com­pletely dif­fer­ent. There’s no right or wrong way to cope and there’s no uni­ver­sal hand­book de­tail­ing the steps to re­cov­ery. It’s not lin­ear; you might be OK one day and a wreck the next. Grief sneaks up when you least ex­pect it – songs, smells, sounds and places can all be pow­er­ful trig­gers. TIME HEALS ALL There’s no des­ig­nated ac­cept­able time frame for feel­ing bet­ter – you can’t rush emo­tional re­cov­ery. Grief can be con­fus­ing and frus­trat­ing for friends and fam­ily who don’t know quite how to re­act. If you’ve ever felt the sting of be­ing made to feel you ‘should be over it by now’ you’ll know ex­actly what we’re say­ing. Peo­ple gen­er­ally don’t mean to be self­ish or in­sen­si­tive, they just want you to be ‘you’ again. They want to make things right but they don’t know how. THE MANY FACES OF GRIEF

Any loss or ma­jor life change can cause deep, heart­felt grief, though we may not ac­knowl­edge it as such. We might min­imise or shove sad feel­ings aside con­vinc­ing our­selves we’re crazy to feel bad when oth­ers’ sit­u­a­tions are clearly more ‘grief wor­thy’.

Stop! If you’re hurt­ing, your feel­ings are valid and de­serve re­spect, kind­ness and com­pas­sion. Yes, from oth­ers, but es­pe­cially from your­self to your­self.

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