Grief, That Internal Process No One is Prepared For

· August 29, 2016

Grief is a normal response in the brain to any kind of loss, regardless of the environment. Each person perceives it differently. We all need to give ourselves time to move through it, and not try to accelerate it.

Grief is the delicate and complex process through which we say goodbye to someone who was significant to use. 

This personal path requires multiple personal processes that we develop and channel day to day.

But the way that each one of us reaches this state of acceptance always has the same goal in mind: “installing” the loved one as the most precious treasure in your heart.

Once the memory of that person becomes ingrained in your memory in a more peaceful way, you can once again allow yourself to be happy. Grieving is not about forgetting, but healing the pain to learn how to live with their absence. 

Today, we’d like to teach you good strategies for doing just this.

My grief, your grief

woman with butterflies

There’s one thing that psychiatrists and psychologists make very clear: each person faces grief differently, and all of these ways are equally respectable.

Sometimes you may hear people talk about those false myths regarding “the healthiest way to grieve, the universal way, that works just as well for everyone.” Here are a few false ideas that we first need to learn to deconstruct.

False myths about grief

  • Individuals that don’t externalize, or show, their suffering are not “grieving” right.  This isn’t true.  Grief has a lot to do with each person’s personality.
  • So that means that people that are not very expressive, who are not used to emotional release, to communicating with others to express his/her feelings and emotions, will handle grief in their own way.
  • The desire to be alone with yourself, to reorganize, to think, to heal from this absence, is just as respectable as someone choosing to see a psychologist.  Every person heals his/her own wounds in their own way.
  • Another false myth says that time heals everything.  This isn’t true.  Time does not heal on its own, nor does it spark change, acceptance, or integration of the loss.
  • We need to make one important thing very clear: that emptiness will always exist in your heart; time does not cure this absence on its own.  But it will help it to “hurt a little less”, so you can continue living.
  • Here’s another myth: pain is felt at that moment, and people that don’t feel it are cold. This is another idea that needs to also be broken down.

After a loss, after losing someone in an accident or from an illness, the pain might not come immediately. In fact, several weeks can go by before someone reacts.

This doesn’t mean that you lack feelings.

It’s more common for the impact of someone’s death to cause denial. You can’t believe it, so you’re incapable of reacting. Slowly it will sink in, along with the pain.


Techniques for managing pain

Let’s point out, yet again, that the path one walks while grieving is a very intimate, raw, and toilsome one.

There is no specific technique that works for everyone, essentially because everyone understands pain in their own way.  This means it needs to be managed in the best way for them, however they get the most relief.

But, you could always at least try to use these strategies.

Controlling your thoughts

When you lose someone, your mind doesn’t respond, you only feel.  Thoughts get bundled up with emotions, fear and anxiety.

  • You need to control your thoughts.  Identify them so you can release enough of your emotions.
  • Control over your thoughts means that you don’t blame yourself, or try to find other people responsible for what happened. The person has gone, do not hold on to any more pain.

You need to accept the loss and cry over it.

Guided fantasy

This technique can be useful for a lot of people.  To help facilitate saying goodbye, visualizing can be very useful and cathartic.

  • Find a place to be intimate and alone.  Make sure you feel comfortable and breathe deeply.
  • Then empty your mind and focus on just one thing: your loved one, the person you just lost.
  • Visualize them, but think of them in peace, smiling peacefully.  This is the moment when you talk to them.

Create an internal dialogue with them to communicate everything that you need to say to them. Remind them how much you love them, then let them go in peace, in a relaxed fashion.

woman with dandelion goodbye ritual

Work on your wounds from day to day

So now you’ve accepted that the individual is no longer with you. You’ve mentally said goodbye to them…so what now?

Now you are left with the wounds of absence and a life that needs to be rebuilt without your loved one.

  • Understand that this will be a daily struggle, you’ll have to face it again every day.  You need to understand that you’re not alone, there are more people with you that will help you.
  • Don’t be afraid of being happy again.  Your loved one will always rest in your heart, they are with you, and you have to smile for them.

Make your life a tribute to their memory. Fill your days, cry for them whenever you need to, and don’t be afraid to laugh once again.

That person is happy to see your face light up with happiness once again.