About Grief

.....what you may experience when someone
of significance
to you,
  One of the most difficult things we have to face with in our life is death ..... our own death and the death of those we love.   It is because we do love, that losing someone close to us is painful. When this happens we are left with feeling an emptiness, a gap which cannot be filled by anyone or anything else.   Grief is a response of our whole being to something we don't want to accept. It is usually a painful experience and it can take time ... sometimes years to work through. If the feelings of grief are able to be accepted and expressed, the intensity of the pain and the amount of time spent thinking about the one who has died will lessen over time.   When we suppress grief it can effect us in other ways, for example, we may become physically or mentally unwell, or it may cause us to have a negative attitude towards life and have a detrimental effect on the quality of our relationships with others.   Sometimes grief can be buried for many years and when another loss is experienced, oftentimes 'the earlier grief' re-surfaces. Working through the next loss may be made much more complicated by this unresolved grief from previous losses.   Grief makes us vulnerable. Often the feelings of grief are overwhelming and we feel lost and confused and even sometimes wonder whether we are going out of our minds. It is important to realise that grief is a normal human response and to not be afraid of the feelings that we experience as they are a normal and necessary part of the process of adjustment and healing.    
Each person's grief will be unique, as each relationship is unique, but there are some COMMON REACTIONS which people EXPERIENCE.
Initially you may be in a state of shock and be devoid of any emotions, your feelings being completely numbed ...you may find it hard to believe that the person has died...it may seem like a bad dream with it's accompanying sense of unreality.   Then as the reality of what has happened sinks in, a wide range of emotions such as sadness, anger, guilt, yearning, hopelessness and anxiety may overwhelm you. You may find you have difficulty concentrating on anything and life may seem meaningless. You may feel an inner emptiness, a heartache, or feel as if part of you has been amputated, experiencing these emotions at a physical level. You may suffer from sleep and appetite disturbances, anxiety, agitation, ambivalence, absent-minded behaviour, and sometimes dreams and hallucinations.   If the person has been ill for some time, you may also experience relief as the person is no longer suffering and at the same time feel guilty for feeling this way. On the other hand, sudden unexpected death increases the shock and disbelief experienced.   When someone close to you suicides, you can be totally overwhelmed with the intensity and range of emotions that emerge. A death such as this is often confusing and difficult to accept and process, due to the mixed emotions of hurt, anger and guilt that is experienced.  
The loss of someone close to you is a devastating and painful experience, however if you can allow yourselves to move through this process by allowing, by feeling and then by releasing the pain in conjunction with gaining support from others who can listen and be with you, then in time, there are possibilities for developing new strengths, new insights and deeper relationships in your life.    

Griefwork is a process and a journey
you go through
in order
to make the necessary adjustments
so that in time
you can
'live fully again'.
  Contact www.griefaustralia.org for information re Grief Counselling Services and Counsellors
email: info@creativewellness.com.au
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© 2007