Mental Health

How to Deal with Personal Grief

How to process grief – Grief is the emotional pain and suffering you feel when you lose something or someone you love. It is one’s natural response to loss.

The pain that comes with grief and loss can be overwhelming as a person goes through many emotions, like anger, denial, disbelief, sadness, guilt, and more! Suffice to say that coping with grief is probably one of life’s toughest challenges.

“Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.”

Earl Grollman

No matter what your loss is, there is no right or wrong when it comes to how you can grieve for them.

Talking about grief, we often relate the word with our feelings after losing someone we love dearly. However, grief is way more than that! It is how your mind handles the loss of many things such as:

  • Loss of job
  • Miscarriage
  • Death of a pet
  • Constant health issues
  • Retirement
  • Loss of financial stability
  • Selling your family home and many more

Each of these reasons will trigger different levels of grief within you, and there are many ways to handle it effectively and move forward in life.

Me, My Grief and I – Understanding how to process Grief

The past few months have been very hard on me, both on the personal and professional front. Issues with my health, loss of my parents-in-law, and the final nail in the coffin, the recent pandemic. Like most of us out there, I have also been grieving, and it has taken a toll on me, both mentally and physically.

So here I was, looking up different methods and strategies to deal with personal grief. That is when I saw this interesting video on Youtube, a talk by Nora McInerny, a writer, and podcaster. McInerny spoke a great deal about how important it is to change our approach in dealing with grief in the video.

Source – YouTube TED Channel

Her approach to managing grief is simple enough to say in words but is quite difficult to follow through with all the obstacles laid out for us. But what she said in the video changed me completely and inspired me to stop wallowing in my own self-pity and get on with my life.

“We do not get over grief by moving on, but by moving forward with it.”

“Not all wounds are meant to heal.”

It’s incredible how a few lines by a complete stranger can touch your heart and soul, right?

Let us now look at the five stages of grief and discuss a few pointers to help you deal with grief more effectively.

An Insight Into the Five Stages of Grief

As someone looking to overcome their grief and get back to normal (well, almost!) or medical professionals attempting to heal the aggrieved, you must first understand the typical trajectories or phases of grief. The five-stage model by Dr Elizabeth Kubler-Ross is one of the most commonly referenced grief stage theories.

According to Dr. Kubler-Ross, there are five stages of grief.

Denial: This stage helps buffer the shocks and numbness that you would go through when the individual refuses to accept the loss and come to terms with it.

Anger: Once the initial denial wears off and the reality sets in, it would cause individuals to get angered fast and lash out at anyone and everyone.

Bargaining: This stage is about trying to reason or negotiate this loss with falsities using specific statements, especially ones that begin with “what if”.

Depression: This stage happens when grief starts creeping into your life, leaving you more sad and depressed.

Acceptance: Once your emotions are sorted out and stabilized, you can enter the real world so you could come to terms with the loss.

PS: Remember, you do not have to go through each of these stages in precise order, but consider it as a reference point to figure out what exactly goes on in the mind while you are grieving.

“There is no typical response to loss, as each one’s grieving is as individual as their lives.”

Ways to Cope with Personal Grief

Grief, like loss, is an inevitable part of your life. And it is essential to know how to overcome the pain of losing something or someone and come to terms with what is grieving you.

Let us talk about tips that can help you pick up the pieces and get on with your life.

  1. Acknowledge that you are in pain
  2. Accept that grief can make you feel different
  3. Understand that each individual comprehend grief differently
  4. Seek out help from professionals over loved ones
  5. Take good care of yourself both physically and mentally
  6. Understand the differentiation between grief and depression

The grieving process is like taking a rollercoaster ride (with ups and downs, highs and lows!!)

Easy steps to follow to feel better while grieving

how to process grief

1. Cry it out!

As opposed to some people (who insist on suppressing their tears), bawling your eyes out can be pretty cathartic. Studies indicate that crying is a self-soothing behavior and suggests that tears can release stress hormones and set you back on the path to psychological homeostasis.

2. Do not assume that grief can be quantified

There is no one way to deal with grief. Each one of us handles grief differently. Just accept this fact and try to work around it to move on.

3. Ask for help for coping with grief

Well, this is pretty obvious, right? If you can’t fix the problem yourself, you can always seek help from professionals or even loved ones keen on lending their support while you are grieving.

All you need to do is reach out to the right people, and you will be well on your road to recovery.

4. Join a support group

“We bereaved are not alone. We belong to the largest company in all the world — the company of those who have known suffering.”

— Helen Keller

Grief can make you feel upset and lonely even if you are surrounded by people who love and care for you. And no one deserves to endure grief all by themselves. Sharing your thoughts and worries to people who have gone through the grief you feel can help immensely.

Joining a support group can help you do that.

5. Keep your mind occupied

You can try out some fun activities or pursue hobbies to keep your mind busy and eventually make you feel a lot better, even if you are grieving.

A fixed ritual like drawing, art journaling or reading, can help you cope with the pesky emotions that drag you down and stop you from letting go.

6. Remember your loved ones

One of the most insensitive things people say to others who have lost someone they love is to forget what happened and move on, this is not how to process grief. However, a better approach to handling grieving people is to talk and share positive thoughts about the person you lost or go through their photographs to remember them long after they are gone.

This eventually helps the grieving process and ensures that the individual feels better.

7. Get some me-time

People who are grieving often end up lazing around or binging, negatively impacting their mental and physical health. A healthy dose of me-time can help you take care of yourself better.

Parting thoughts:

Grief is associated with the loss of something or someone, and it is part and parcel of our life. However, all of us handle grief differently.

In this post, we have discussed grief and how to process grief so you can move through it and carry on with your life.


This post is part of Blogchatter Half Marathon challenge and CauseAChatter.

To read the previous posts from the challenge, click here.

Copyright

©Dipika Singh. This article is the property of the site’s author. Any unauthorized use or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links are used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dipika Singh (Gleefulblogger). With the right and specific direction to the original content.

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17 Comments

  1. A comprehensive article on grief!

  2. Beautifully put. Grief can be different to different people. So is there coping mechanism. But giving yourself time to adjust to the situation and then taking steps towards coming out of that state is very important. One cannot be impatient.

  3. I had gone through all these stages of grief after having IUD in my first pregnancy. I agree that grief is a long lasting journey and you have to find out the way what works best for you. I really loved the way you have explained different aspects of grief in this post.

  4. Amazingly written. I feel sometimes crying out would help a lot. The more we keep to ourselves the more we go down with it

  5. Such a helpful post this is. I had gone through a lot last year. Crying out helps, provided we cry on the right shoulders. It is best to seek help of support groups always.

  6. A grief can leave an impending mark on one’s memory and some people take time to deal with it and come out and you rightly said not all griefs are to be forgotten. You remember them while you contine with your life.

  7. Grief is a reality and everyone has to deal with it sometimes or the other. But everyone has to figure out their own way, as it is something really personal.

  8. Roma says:

    The recommendations here are so genuine and worth. I know how difficult it has been for you my love and I love the way you taught us how to deal with it

  9. Tgrief is a complicated emotion and everyone experiences it in a different way. Your post was insightful as it lists the stages and ways to process it.

  10. Are there support groups in India? I didn’t here of any though but definitely sharing your grief and the emotions going behind it with someone helps a lot. It is kind of a relief of some burden.

  11. Grief is a huge chain of reactions, emotions and then comes the peace of heart. I have been through this whole chain and process when my mother had unexpectedly passed away due to cancer some 11 years ago. At times I still feel like a rebel I want to fight the world but my heart has accepted and made peace with the fact she won’t ever come back.

  12. Grief is a very personal thing and everyone processes it in different ways. Talking, crying it out and asking for help always help. One can never move on, we have to learn to live with it. You’ve done amazingly well, D. I’m so proud of you!

  13. Milan Singhal says:

    everyone processes grief differently; it’s really difficult to deal with it. but the recommendations you have mentioned are worth trying to make peace with oneself.

  14. Priyal says:

    Sometimes it is not easy to come out of pain because it is not easy to heal with that pain. And it will be there for life with us. Venting out and crying out does help.

  15. […] To read the previous posts from the challenge, click here. […]

  16. […] is the first step towards improving your current mental state and getting over the sadness, grief, worry, and any pent-up emotion that is pulling you down. With some effort and determination from […]

  17. Deepika Sharma says:

    The video was awesome. Now that i read your article i felt that the process of much the same after i lost my dad. Well addressed

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