Getting Through Grief
By Robin Westen
None of us travels through life without experiencing loss and the grief that accompanies it. But it’s important to be able to move through the process and get to the other side of it. Otherwise, mental health experts warn, we may put ourselves at risk for psychological as well as physical illnesses. Here’s help in assisting you through your feelings of sadness and grief:
Honor your feelings. There is no“right” or “wrong” way to grieve. Some people are comfortable with outward expressions of grief, others are private. Some people want a lot of support and comfort, while others need to grieve alone.
Give yourself time.If someone tells you “it’s been long enough. Get over it” you needn’t take their advice. Grief takes as long as it takes. There are no time limits on how long one “should” grieve. Also be aware that grief comes in waves. One day you may feel fine and happy, and the next overwhelmed by sadness and frustration at your loss.
Try not to shut down.The shortest way to the “other side” of grief is “through”. A person who tries to suppress the sadness about a loss will eventually have to deal with the anger, sadness and unfairness of the loss. The more unresolved and suppressed grief is, the more a person’s life may be emotionally restricted and the grief will come out in “unconscious” ways at those around them.