It is never easy when you lose someone important in your life, a loved one, a friend or a family member but it is even harder when it is sudden and unexpected.
Over Christmas this happened to my family, we lost someone close to us. That person was not only my Uncle but a Father, a Partner, a Son, a Brother and a Friend to many different people.
The events of the last few weeks and seeing how people have dealt with the processing of grief have inspired me to write this blog post just in case anyone going through a tough time can take some solace in the fact that they are not alone and that there is no one way to deal with loss.
So what does grief look like?
Honestly, it isn’t something you can put into words and there is no definition of what grief should look like. For some people grief looks as you’d expect, lots of sadness and tears, outwardly processing and showing the pain. For some others grief makes them numb, those are the people who develop that glazed look in their eyes, that vacant stare, a lack of interest in conversation or awareness of the people around them. There are those that lose their appetite and don’t want to eat, for those people it is worth noting that the best thing they can do to avoid getting sick is to stay hydrated. There are then the people who go into survival mode, those that just want to carry on as normal, the ones who put the sad event in the back of their mind and choose to internalise the loss.
This last one is me. I carry on, process my grief internally and on my own and try to remain as positive and supportive as possible to those around me. I also have a bad habit of making a joke out of the situation. Some will say that is bad taste but it is my coping mechanism.
Stages of grief.
Above are some of the ways we see people grieve but it is worth remembering that there will be different stages.
Information on each stage can be found here
Some people may not pass through all the stages, some people may flick between the different stages for a while, but they will not stay in one stage forever… Eventually, most people will get to acceptance and start to move forward. Acceptance isn’t saying you are “OK” with the loss it’s simply accepting that it has happened and that the reality is that you will have to adapt to life without that person. For some people it may take weeks or months and some people it may take years.
I guess, the bottom line is that there isn’t really a right way or a wrong way to deal with the emotions that you feel when you lose someone, there is no timeline, you can’t just think “I know I’ll be OK in ‘X’ amount of time” the only thing you must do is actually deal with the feelings and not allow them to consume you. Do what feels right for you, write it down, talk it out, cry if you need to, remember the positive times, remember the support network you have around you be that family or friends and use them. Be aware of how others may be dealing with it and help them with their journey too. Over time it will get easier and less painful but that loved one will never be forgotten. Remember the important dates and celebrate them. (Birthdays, Anniversaries)
Death puts everything into perspective. Family and Friends matter. Tell people how you feel and show appreciation because you never know when will be your last chance to!
Stay safe out there guys and look after each other. ❤
Post dedicated to Winston Spalding who sadly passed away on 26th December 2018