We generally associate grieving with the death of a loved one, but the pain and uncertainty of loss, and the difficult transition to a ‘new reality’, can happen in other situations too, such as divorce, job loss and or moving home, and more.

Grieving

Grieving is a lonely and challenging process, and many people (myself included), have been staggered to find just how incapacitating it can be, for a time (which can be much longer then you might expect). But it is also a healing process, and though it can feel horrible, the pain eventually passes and is replaced by a different sort of remembering.

We cannot ‘cure’ grief, but the pain and suffering can be eased with the right sort of understanding. Neither can you put a time-scale on when it’ll be right to ‘move on’.

Well-meaning but unhelpful

Sadly, loss can sometimes be made harder by the attitudes of well-meaning people around us. If you are supporting someone who is going through transition following a loss or change, although it hurts to witness another person’s pain, there is little you can do apart from offering a few words of support and being there in case you are needed (and being ‘not there’ when you are not). Offering practical help is valuable too, but check that it is welcome because some people may see help as an intrusion.

Care for yourself

We all respond to loss differently, so there is no ‘one size fits all’. If you are grieving the best choice is to stick with it and be sympathetic and caring towards yourself. Though the grieving process can be both debilitating and frustrating, it is a necessary process and one that involves deep psychological adaptation and acceptance. Re-learning to live well after loss and change takes time.

Don’t expect those around you to understand, no matter what they say. However well-meaning they are, few will, and they cannot share your experience. That’s one of the toughest parts of the process; the things you’d most like help with are the things you can only do alone.