Grief and Loss

All through life we endure such things as close friends moving or drifting away, or loss of pets, job or retirement and so on. So it is important to recognize loss and the resultant feelings, which for some people can be very intense. Most perceive the grieving state to involve the death of a love one or separation

One needs the courage to experience it not just to talk about it and not continually repeating yourself otherwise you drive your friends away.

Grief has a push-pull effect – the big empty gut feeling – when you try to talk to friends, but the big wound is vulnerable to being hurt again – you tend to push them away when they are getting close to you. They get a mixed message.

THE MANY THINGS THAT SEEM TO HAPPEN WITH VARYING DEGREES of intensity. The effects may or may not happen – in my case lots of things didn’t happen and our ability to recover largely depends on a good attitude and the quality of thinking in the now.

Sleeping poorly – emotionally drained and tired – a big ball of pain.

Eating erratically – tightness in throat can prevent or make swallowing difficult. Some lose weight and others may find food a reward and put weight on. It can happen that there is no appetite at first then the opposite after the initial period. Sighing is common.

Rapid mood changes and feeling emotionally out of control with crying is very common.

It has been described as being in a daze and loss of reality, despite functioning at work and doing various chores with difficulty. One can fantasize about seeing or hearing former partner – even feeling as though your heart has been removed.

An overwhelming thought “am I going crazy” has been described. If this is happening be comforted by the fact that no permanent psychological damage will occur.

Holding it inside is more damaging and does make it worse and more likely to lead to a deep-seated grief pattern. Certainly acknowledge it and those who do, handle themselves better.

Allow yourself to feel the pain without denial – just experiencing a normal grief pattern.

THERE COULD BE OTHER ACCOMPANYING SYMPTOMS

Loneliness, isolation, helplessness, depressed feelings, guilt feelings, with continual self-criticism and the need to relive the past can persist. Anger at the apparent unfairness and various degrees of rage at lost partner. All feelings can be overwhelming. In my case I heard myself saying both inwardly and outwardly “It is almost unbearable” but we live through these times. As expected suicidal thoughts are common and about of those surveyed stated this.

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

Non-destructive action such as crying, shouting and expressing grief sensibly and realistically.

Make a decision to manage your grief at the appropriate time and place. Put it aside literally on the shelf at work If not managed it puts so much stress on the body and psychosomatic illness may manifest. Many people put it aside not wanting to experience pain, but this is counter-productive.

You will know when it has been completed. There will be a feeling of letting go and you won’t be pulled down again.

Although stages are documented you may find that these occur in different order or multiple varying ones appearing each day as was my experience.

The 5 stages are DENIAL, ANGER, BARGAINING, LETTING GO AND ACCEPTANCE. I WONDER WITH KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDINGIF YOU CAN SHORT-CIRCUIT THE PROCESS AND MAKE THE STAGES VERY MINIMAL.

COMMISERATION OR SYMPATHY WHEN FACING OTHERS IN THE GRIEVING STATE.

Commiseration is a feeling that can keep people in a hopeless, negative state of mind. It occurs when we share in a friend’s misery, which reinforces their thinking and keeps them down. Sympathy or feeling sorry for a person’s plight also tends to lower the mood and is not productive.

We want to cultivate the feeling of compassion. It is a warm, higher-order feeling of understanding, understanding a person is caught up in an insecure state of mind.

Compassion and understanding the feelings this state of mind generates is heart-warming and hopeful rather than sad, inspiring rather than discouraging.

LET YOUR FEELINGS TELL YOU WHEN YOU NEED TO ADJUST.

E-Mail: John Bohn - HYPNOTHERAPIST

home