The Grieving Process
Grieving may vary from person to person. Helping people understand and acknowledge their loss is essential to start the grieving process. Unfortunately, most people are not given sound counsel or coaching when they are grieving. They may hear phrases such as “God won’t put more on you than you can handle, I’m praying for you, It gets easier, I know how you feel because I’ve been there, and the probably the most common is God needed them more than us."
Although, all of these statements may be true and they have good intentions, but most people that are mourning and or grieving need to know that grieving is normal and that there is support available for them to know how to assure their grieving process may not be the same as someone else's and that’s okay.
Facing a loss
Depending upon the severity, some losses will soon be faint memories, whearas others - such as the death of a child, a spouse, a parent, or a sibling - may never be completely settled. But they should know that it IS NOT HEALTHY to integrate the losses into their lives. The griever needs to know that they need to overcome the shock and denial and face the painful reality of what occurred. Facing their loss helps them not to:
- Attempt to postpone the pain
- Remain in denial
- Minimize the loss
Grief that takes over your life and not grieving at all can both be unhealthy and detrimental in a person’s life.
Experiencing grief differently
When a person grieves it's normal to think that they should grieve like you did or like everyone else has in the past. Everyone may not greive the same. Grief, like life, is a unique experience for each individual it is something that must happen, but some choose to do it in a different way.
When a person fails to grieve the loss of a loved one, a close relationship, a long time job, career, a passing of a pet, or the loss of lifestyle due to health issues, that is when you have a right to say something about the way they are grieving.
Grieving is important
When we notice that a person has not grieved this is a time to show concern. Grief is important for a balanced and healthy life. If a person does not grieve this can cause a trickle down effect into other areas of their life, such as health, existing relationships, etc.
There are certain behaviors that indicate that a person has or is not grieving. Some of the behaviors of grief are noticeable and others are more subtle. If you are not familiar with grief, you may mistake certain emotions or lack of as normal daily behaviors. If you are familiar with grief, you will notice certain behaviors that are unhealthy when that individual avoids to grieve. The person needs someone to help them grieve in a healthier way, when they are...
- Disconnected from friends and family
- Scattered-thinking and cant seem to focus
- Feeling of being overwhelmed or anxious
- Being extremely overprotective
- Hearing voices
- Talking about the person or the item that was loss excessively, but still say they are ok
- Denying that they are hurting
- Not crying at all
Signs of "normal grief"
There are also signs of normal grief.
If you notice yourself or a person displaying any of these symptoms yourself, they are on their way to grieving, but still may need coaching through their journey of grief.
- Lack of energy
- Crying a lot
Although a person may have visible and behavioral signs of grief. It is still an excellent idea to make sure that they grieve effectively and healthy. Our grieving processes may differ, but there is an inspired creative way to help those who are hurting.
Through coaching you can set attainable goals to reach for a healthier and balanced life, even through grief.
Not only should a person grieve they should also mourn.
Are grief and mourning the same?
It is critical to know the difference between grief and mourning. Both processes are there to help the bereaved face the reality that their loved one is gone and then to slowly begin to accommodate to that fact.
This accommodation phase is essentially the ongoing process of adjustment the mourner must make both internally (psychologically) and externally (socially, behaviorally) to his/her loss. Grief is the natural psychological, behavioral, social, and physical response which helps the mourner recognize the loss and get ready for the larger and often longer experience of mourning. As Therese A. Rando says, “Grief is actually the beginning part of mourning.”
Mourning is the outward expression of loss and grief. Mourning includes rituals and other actions that are specific to each person’s culture, personality, and religion. Bereavement and mourning are both part of the grieving process.
Earlier I mentioned that everyone grieves, but not everyone mourns. Mourning is an important phase, because there is a priority on the mourner receiving help. It’s often during this time that a grieving person needs the most emotional support. Finding support can be the key to a person’s recovery and acceptance of the loss. Sources of support can be family members, friends, support groups, community organizations, mental health professionals and grief coaches.
Mourning like grief may not always be recognized. It's important to get help from a coach if you don't recognize either grieving or mourning in yourself or others after a life changing loss.