Whether you have lost a loved one or are supporting a loved one through their loss, know that everything you are feeling is normal. We have all heard there are stages of grief we must go through to reach clarity, but it isn’t always that easy. Grief can take a toll on your mental, physical, and spiritual health in lasting ways, but you can still find help. Here is some advice from me, someone currently grieving the death of a close friend.
Support Systems and Where to Find Them
Start with trusted, immediate family members. It can be a significant other, parent, aunt, uncle, cousin, sibling, pick someone who knows you. More importantly, choose someone who you feel comfortable telling what you need. I looked to my mom. She was who I felt most comfortable expressing my feelings to because she knows me better than most.
One of the things I have found most interesting during this month of grieving has been just how many support groups there are. They are all free to attend, usually serve at least coffee, and are lead by experienced counselors. You would think support groups for people grieving would be a cluster of sadness, but truly, they are places to laugh, share memories, and, yes, also cry. The best part about it is when you leave, you feel a sense of euphoria for talking about your loved one to others who understand your pain.
If you look to any artistic medium, you will find an expression of grief. This isn’t an accident. For centuries people have created something tangible out of the empty place in their hearts. Look at An Eternity’s Gate by Vincent van Gogh. Finding or continuing a hobby will help you release energy and help you relax. Some people take up a physical activity like running, and others start knitting. Give yourself a peaceful exercise to help you calm your mind.
Grieving is different for everyone. Some people go right back to work and do just fine; some need more attention and support. Both are fine and valid. That is what I have learned during my month of grieving. Take care of yourself, and please don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many people want to. Contact us if you have any questions about our services or if you want our help during this time.