What is grief? It is the response to loss, specifically the death of something that we had a bond to-a person, an animal, a relationship, a job, a change in lifestyle, even our past self.
We may also experience different types of grief: anticipatory grief, one in which we are expecting a future loss; compound grief, where loss happens one after the other and we don’t have time to ‘deal’ with our grief/loss before another happens; caregiver grief, where quite often we don’t deal with loss as it happens because we are ‘too busy’ taking care of practical tasks in our role as caregiver...these are just a few examples of the types of grief and loss we can experience.
There is no ‘normal’ when it comes to grief. We all deal with grief in different ways and in our own time-there is no end date when it comes to loss. We will never be the person we were before the loss because this is a new experience, no matter what loss we may have endured previously.
In all cases, it is very important that we don’t judge ourselves-there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Cut yourself some slack, lower your standards for yourself during this time. You are processing A LOT.
And, if you are trying to support or help someone through grief/loss, not knowing what to say is ok. Just holding space for that person-listening, whether they are silent or talking, checking in on them, or doing a small task is great support during a time when ‘simple’ decisions are so very difficult.
We can’t fix grief but we can be a companion with it, honor it and listen with our hearts.
Please reach out for support if you are dealing with loss/grief.