Losing a loved one whether sudden or at the end of a prolonged illness is a painful experience.
Facing this pain is counter intuitive – off course you would roll onto the side with no wound.
It’s not however the pain that damages us but what we do to avoid it. Processing the pain requires hard work and commitment on a physical and psychological level but with endurance and support (either from therapy or friends and family) we can learn to trust in life again and find a new normal.
In this dual process of enduring the pain as it hurts us, then taking a break and engaging with things that comfort and soothe – each time this is done we adjust incrementally.
There is no right or wrong way to grieve however Julia Samuels (OBE) suggests that addressing these 6 pillars, and the strength they provide will increase in time.
The Six Pillars of Grieving
- Find unique ways of expressing grief in order to process the pain
- Continue the relationship with the deceased such as holding them in mind or doing things in their memory
- Have a kind and loving relationship with yourself and not berating yourself for your ‘grief behaviour’
- Give yourself small bite-size chunks of grieving time and support yourself during this process, only dealing with today rather than the ever expansive future.
- Maintain a relationship with your body – grief is embodied and can get stuck – exercise can help to shift grief.
- Know your limits and only do what you can manage – give yourself permission to not be your usual self.
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The Total Health Team