Dealing With Grief

Dealing with grief, is one road of your life experiences you should not walk alone. It is important to surround yourself with a strong support system of friends, family members, members of your religious community, support groups, and people who are not afraid to talk about what you went through or, more importantly, people who are able to listen.

It is important for you to try to express what you are experiencing in a way of mourning that is tangible for you, real for you, about how you are dealing with grief. Don't allow yourself or others to restrict how you are expressing your grief or how long it is taking you to work through the process. Statements like "get over it" or "you need to snap out of this" will only cause you to internalize your grief.

Internalizing your grief could result in your body expressing your grief in physical symptoms such as hypertension, headaches, stomach ailments or other physical symptoms. If your friends and/or family are going through the same experience, don't be afraid to ask them how they are coping. Chances are good that they are dealing with similar feelings. Talking can help all of you process through the pain together.

Delayed grief results when you put the process on the back-burner to focus on other issues such as making financial and/or health care decisions. In some cases you may try to "stay busy" to avoid dealing with the grief and mourning process. What happens if you try to avoid paying taxes? Eventually the tax collector will catch up to you, and, when he/she does, the problem is worse.

The same holds true when dealing with grief. You can try to avoid it but, eventually, it will catch up to you and you will have to not only deal with the initial cause of the grief but the "interest" which has accrued in the form of physical/stress related illnesses and emotional pain. But, does the grieving ever end?

When you are experiencing grief, it is way too easy to neglect your physical needs. While you may not see the importance, make sure you have enough sleep, eat well and exercise. Taking care of these needs can actually help your body process through the grief faster. You should avoid alcohol or drugs that may numb the pain initially, but, in the long run, will only delay the process. No doubt, when you are dealing with your grief, all of these recommendations may sound impossible.

Thinking about "exercise" or "good food" is probably the last thing on your mind, while having a good stiff drink is topping your list of "things to do" (even if you never so much as sniffed a beer in your life). And, it may be hard for you to imagine feeling worse than you do now, but, trust me, if you don't take care of your health, you will not only be emotionally "broken", but you will also feel physically ill. This will not help in dealing with grief; it adds more problems.

It is not uncommon for people to have the attitude of "I don't care if I get sick and die, I don't want to live with this pain!!!" The thing is, it is never that "easy". You don't get a "free pass" from pain by neglecting your health. You just get really sick and this can just make things worse.

Be sure to plan ahead for milestone events (birthdays, holidays, special anniversaries), to surround yourself with your support systems. Share these events with your friends and family. Realize that anticipating the event may be worse than the event itself.

You or members of your support group may find you are repeating events or stories. Go with it. There is a reason these events or stories are important to you. Sharing them with your friends and family may help you discover their importance while dealing with grief.

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