Overwhelming emotions

When someone or something we love, leaves our lives through death or separation, our natural response is to grieve.

Owner holding a dog collar

Losses come in many guises. It could be loss of employment, relationship breakdown, death of a pet or the death of a loved one. We all react differently to these losses and our challenge includes finding coping skills and resilience to deal with the changes the losses bring. 

This is the hardest and most painful time. It is important to recognise the importance, as you may find the feelings of overwhelming emotion, physical pain, lack of sleep, and sadness have become your constant and unwelcome companions for the moment. 

Man holding head in hands

Also be aware that you have other companions called anger, disappointment, despair, and confusion who love to turn up uninvited and like to party when you least expect them to.

Feel free to entertain them all for short periods, but as you would with unwelcome guests, you would like to throw them out when they become too much trouble. This is not always easy, and remember you are going through emotional distress.

Unlike a broken arm or leg, no one can see it, and only you can truly feel what the pain is like. Be kind to yourself, do not make serious decisions about anything important, so give yourself time to heal, to build your confidence and resilience.

The power of creativity

Creative activities may help you to understand and accept the path you are on when you are grieving. Listening to your favourite music, doodling, painting, colouring, or even sitting or walking in nature, allow the body and mind to process the pain grieving brings.

Just the job of buying yourself a nice notebook, colouring pencils, or markers can be part of the ritual you can put in place for yourself. Setting aside a small part of your day to write your thoughts or words about your loss may seem too much, but it could be five minutes or an hour, which is not going to be judged. It is giving value to those thoughts and feelings that you feel unable or unwilling to say to friends or family. 

Grief quotes

The following quotes may help us understand how important grief work can be.

Give Sorrow words: the grief that does not speak, knits up the overwrought heart, and bids it break.

William Shakespeare

Well, everyone can master a grief but he that has it.

William Shakespeare

But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the courage, the courage to suffer.

Viktor Frankl

Rituals for letting go

I believe in using rituals in my line of work and often have ceremonies with adults and children in remembering their loved ones or letting go of their negative attachments to relationships. All believers in all faiths have used these rituals for centuries. They are all helpful and even just sweeping the dust out the door, creating memory boxes, writing what you feel good bad and indifferent and burning it in the fire are simple but satisfying. 

Please just go easy on yourself at present as perhaps you have been through a huge emotional turmoil for a long time, especially if the person has not been well or your relationship was fractured. 

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