12 May Get In Touch With Your Grief!
Maha Souman, MSW
Maybe you’re feeling like you’re not grieving the loss of a loved one as much as you would have expected to and maybe the reason is that you are in denial or spending a lot of time avoiding the loss.
Regardless of the maybes, if you’re feeling uncomfortable because of how disconnected you are from your grief, your emotions, or your memories, there are a few ways you can get in touch with those aspects of your life! And if you’re thinking, what’s the point of grief if I get to experience little to no emotions about losing someone I love? That makes sense, but there are some important reasons as to why you should connect with your grief in a healthy way after your loss:
Feeling nothing can sometimes leave you feeling empty and hopeless
The loss will impact your life and your relationships so you might as well spend time acknowledging its presence
When you’re avoiding grief, you’re also avoiding the memory of your loved one. Finding ways to connect with your grief will allow you to connect with your loved one again and find ways for them to be a part of your present which can be extremely healing
Four ways to get in touch with your grief, emotions, and memories
Address the Avoidance
In order to begin opening the door for your grief you have to first address the avoidance. Usually the reason you are unable to grief is due to long-term avoidance. Your avoidance is probably your way of ignoring the painful reality of your loved one being gone and any painful thoughts or memories associated with them. Begin by creating time and space for you to acknowledge and begin coping with your grief.
Finding ways to cope with your grief through expression and exploration can be difficult. While practicing to reduce avoidance, you can begin going to specific places that may remind you of your loved one or speaking of your loved one more often and when doing these things, it’s important to have coping strategies in order to support yourself through this difficult time. Some can cope by speaking about their experiences with friends and family or even support groups and some might want to find coping mechanisms on their own through journaling, photography, painting, or even music. Finding coping skills that work best for you based on your experiences, strengths and resources can allow you to really begin expressing your grief.
Learn and accept your grieving style
Learning about your grief can help guide you through it. Many approach grief in a more cognitive way than an emotional one. If you are one of those grievers you may find it more helpful to understand the different grief concepts and think about how you can categorize your grief which can be a helpful way to relate to your grief. Learning more about your grief can also be helpful in allowing you to realize that you may be grieving although it might not seem like “normal” grief to you or others.
Connect with your loved one
Lastly, try your best to connect with your loved one. When you dive into your grief you may start to recognize that grief is essentially love. Your grief and your love for the person who has passed are in many ways connected.
Most are able to find that they can actually tolerate a little grief after some time if it means getting to connect with your loved one. Finding ways that work for you to continue to have a relationship with the loved one who has passed or finding ways to incorporate their memory into your present is an important part of grief. The ability to continue to include that loved one can serve as a comfort in your life and help guide you through aspects of your new life without your loved one.
Grief doesn’t have to happen alone
Losing loved ones is an inevitable part of life that can leave us with a range of complex emotions. Grief counseling can help people with an avenue to find ways of coping as well as developing methods and strategies to help guide us through this difficult time and beyond. You don’t have to grieve alone.
Verne Psychotherapy and Wellness LLC is a private therapy practice in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. Verne has multiple therapists with a wide range of expertise treating anxiety, depression, trauma, and beyond. Verne accepts people of all cultural, racial, and sexual backgrounds. We serve clients ages 12 to 65. We have an in-person office in Montclair, New Jersey and also can see patients virtually. To get matched with one of our therapists, please call our office at 862-330-1727 ext 1 or visit our website: vernewellness.com.