The loss of someone or something that is important to us can be psychologically traumatic, in the same way a sever accident, illness or injury can be.
Grief is a healing process, where time must be allowed for the body and mind to return to a state of equilibreum. For some it is quick, and for others it can take a long time, the same as any other illness. There are different levels of grieving complexity that people can experience, and if the process is taking a long time, and you are experiencing ongoing severe distress, then it is important to seek help.
There are many different manifestations of normal grief, and these these feelings are natural, and you must allow yourself to experience them, give yourself permission – being strong is something that others often tell you so they don’t have to feel bad when you are feeling sad.
Sadness is the most common, and it will return in waves when you think you are feeling stronger. Triggers such as dining out, visiting the local mall or going for a walk can all evoke sad memories.
Anger is also very common, and can be quite cathartic, especially in times of separation. It can also be inward as well as outward, especially if you are questioning whether your own part.
Guilt if you left your partner or family, or if you are the survivor. Perhaps you could have visited more often, or didn’t make the hospital. Guilt so often is irrational and will fade with time.
Insecurity if suddently you find yourself on your own, excessive worry about finances, an empty house, awareness of your own mortality – all can become rather phobic if not dealt with.
The emptiness that follows being separated from someone close to you can be overwhelming at times. The loss of the union and all that it represented is a frightening feeling.
At times you will feel that you just can’t fight all these feelings any more. They drain you of energy and just getting on with everday tasks can be so hard.
Helplessness also can become irrational, as in most cases we are all capable. At the time however life can seem overwhelming, and you will not be able to see how you will cope.
We can go into a state of shock, where disbelief over takes us regards what has happened.
A total lack of feelings regards an incident can also be normal for some. Especially soon after the death, we can be just existing on autopilot, with nothing going on in our heads.
Sometimes we so much want to return to the previous state, that we yearn uncontrollably for what has been. If you have left a destructive relationship, be aware that this longing will pass.
Many people feel sad and guilty, yet also have a wonderful sense of relief following a death or separation. Health can improve and you can take control back over your life.
With all these feelings it is important to acknowledge them. Get a notebook and when you experience these feelings, write down the heading, then write down all the arguments why you don’t have to feel this way.
You do not have to be strong, or you mustn’t stop yourself feeling this way, but you also need to start focusing on the path ahead, and positive self-talk is an important small step.