good grief

As de­fined by Ju­lia Sa­muel

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - FRONT PAGE -

What was your re­la­tion­ship with the per­son who died?

The big­gest in­di­ca­tor of how much pain we are in is the qual­ity of the re­la­tion­ship and how much we loved the per­son who died. The more im­por­tant they were in your life, the more you loved them, the more you will miss them.

What is your re­la­tion­ship with your­self?

As your re­la­tion­ship with the world and oth­ers is changed by grief, so does your re­la­tion­ship with your­self change. You need to show com­pas­sion for your­self, to lis­ten to your own needs, to be kind and not to at­tack or crit­i­cise your­self con­stantly.

Ex­press grief

Find the means of ex­press­ing your sor­row that works for you per­son­ally. There is no right way; the key is to con­nect to the feel­ings you have in­side.

Give your­self time

It is im­por­tant to un­der­stand that griev­ing takes longer than any­one wants or ex­pects; you can­not fight­low more time than is of­ten ex­pected to make de­ci­sions.

Nur­ture your mind and body

Your whole be­ing is im­pacted by the death of a per­son you love. Ev­ery thought that you have has a phys­i­o­log­i­cal com­po­nent that is felt in your body, and there are re­cip­ro­cal bod­ily sen­sa­tions that can trig­ger thoughts.

Know your lim­its

When you ex­pe­ri­ence a life- chang­ing loss, it is likely to af­fect your ca­pac­ity at work and so­cially. It is im­por­tant to recog­nise the power to say no. If you are able to give a proper no, then your yes be­comes in­fin­itely more pos­i­tive.

Seek struc­ture

In the chaos of grief, you can feel tilted off your axis. Putting one or two things in your day, reg­u­larly, that you know you can re­li­ably do, for ex­am­ple ex­er­cise, helps you feel like you have some con­trol.

Learn to fo­cus

‘Fo­cus­ing’ is a prac­tice, de­vel­oped by the psy­chother­a­pist and philoso­pher Eu­gene Gendlin, that can let you ‘pause the on­go­ing sit­u­a­tion and find new pos­si­bil­i­ties for car­ry­ing for­ward’. Grief is held in the body, of­ten in an in­choate way. Clos­ing your eyes and breath­ing into your body, then fo­cus­ing on the images that emerge, can be a form of re­lease, help­ing to in­duce a sense of calm.

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