How To Deal With Grief

By Kenny Lee | Emotional Wellness

Jun 15

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“Grief is not a sign of weakness or lack of faith… It is the price of love” – Unknown

And yet it is sometimes too steep a price to pay for love. Yet pay we must when those we loved are lost to us. Grief descended upon us as we suffer emotionally and mentally in a loss of relationships, loss of financial stability, career failure, and the most excruciating grief when we lose a loved one. An evitable process as we journeyed through life. And unlike many other things, it is not easy to deal with grief even as we get older.

We are numb to the pain when the loss first hit us. The mind shields itself as we stepped into denial. But perhaps this is the only way to keep our sanity intact. Buying time for the mind to fortify itself, a much-needed process when we are to face the reality later on. And as the reality trickled in, we start bargaining with life and with ourselves. We hurled questions of “what-if’s” and soon descends into a spiral of self-blame, guilt, and regrets on the things that we could have done.

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And then the emotional wall collapsed, plunging us into anguish and despair as we struggled to come to term with our loss. Grief incapacitates us emotionally, rendering us to a shadow of ourselves as we struggled through each and every day. Eventually, through all the anguish and mental suffering, we come to full acceptance and start making peace with ourselves.

It is not an easy process to go through, as people struggling with grief could go into depression without even realizing. If you found yourself dealing with the aftermath of a loss, facing the excruciating pain, regrets, and self-blame. Know that all these will pass. That it may never be the same again, but it is possible for life to go back to a new normal. The journey may not be easy.

Here are some guides I hope to share, in the hope that it can help to deal with grief and ease the suffering.

Allow Yourself Time

It is important that you allow yourself time to grieve. It is also important that you acknowledge that grieving is not a sign of weakness. Grieving is a natural process to heal from the loss you suffered.

Allow yourself to tend to the turmoil of emotions caused by the loss. Know that this is necessary for you to move forward. It is normal to want to hold on to the memories, to linger in the emotions and pain in the hope that it would make you feel better. It does to a certain extent but when you linger in this state longer than it’s warranted, it becomes detrimental to your recovery.

Keeping Yourself Busy

There is no predefined duration of how long you should grief. But there will be a time that you would need to decide to move on, as difficult as it is. The loss is akin to having an emotional wound. With time, it will heal, leaving nothing but a scar. But to allow this healing to happen, it is necessary for you to take your focus elsewhere. If you keep rubbing the wound, it would never recover. Do try to start a new routine, taking up new hobbies, enroll in new clubs and societies. You should get yourself busy as it is not healthy to keep pondering on the loss.

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While you may prefer some time alone going through the motions, having a few friends for emotional support is good to keep you balanced. It is easier to get through by voicing your feelings out. It is a process of coming to terms to the reality of the loss. Positive supportive friends give you the energy you needed, to prepare for what lies ahead, and any changes that would inadvertently come. But the support from your friends is only as effective as the effort and determination that you put to lift yourself up.

In griefing, your mind could be in a turmoil of anxiety, guilt, regret, blame, anger, and stress driving the peace out of you. In some cases, it is possible for you to slide into depression without being aware of. It is best to try some mind-calming techniques, relaxing meditation music or guided meditation to bring some peace to a suffering mind.

I suppose the question is that after all being said and done, would life be ever the same? When you’ve come to total acceptance and be at peace, the pain will subside. But what once was will be a treasured memory in your heart.

About the Author

I am an engineer-turned-writer who once struggle with social anxiety. After overcoming problems inflicted by low self-esteem and the fear of interaction, I realize the need for taking a holistic approach in developing our mind. I'm sharing my experience, remedies, and techniques that interest me in my quest to be a better self.

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(14) comments

Jeremy June 15, 2016

Grief is no joke. 4 years ago I lost my mom and brother within 6 weeks of each other. I was crushed, but like you said, with time it got better. I found that the more people I spoke with about it the better I was able to deal with it. Great article

Reply
    Kenny Lee June 15, 2016

    Hi Jeremy,

    Sorry to hear about that. I bet it is not an easy thing to go through. Even the strongest of us will be wrecked. I’m glag that you get better.

    Kenny

    Reply
Dylan June 15, 2016

i have a friend that lost a loved one before and he totally changed after that. He changed in a good way though. I try to be the best positive supporting friend possible and i must say you are very right they thrive on positivity!

What are your suggestions on taking on new hobbies? OR the best things to keep you busy?

Thanks for the post

Reply
    Kenny Lee June 15, 2016

    Hi Dylan,

    I respect you for being the emotional support as a friend. Such friendship is far and few in between. Two years back, I slid into depression, as the collapse of my business, my divorce and the experience of almost losing a son came in a space of 4 months. I think it goes on for almost a year. But one day I knew I have to get out of it. I started joining NGOs doing community projects, martial arts and reading countless of motivational book to push myself up. And I believe I have changed too as a person. It’s either for better or worse. But I found healing in giving.

    Kenny.

    Reply
Carl June 15, 2016

Good morning Kenny
I have had to grief in my life and you are right. It is a process that has to happen, accept it or it will be harder to go through the bump on the road. The bump will become a big wall and it will be impossible to climb after a while. You need friends or someone to talk to and you need to move one, because we are still here and we have people that cares.
Allow to be loved and allow yourself to love again.
My small bit of advice to.
Thanks

Reply
    Kenny Lee June 15, 2016

    Carl,

    Thanks for sharing your experience. The thing when people grief is that their mind is in such negative state that they do not even care to love themselves again. As friends, we must be very patient and supportive and hope that our positivity will shine through. And perhaps one day we shall need those support in return. Thanks for your advice again.

    Kenny.

    Reply
James W D June 15, 2016

Keeping yourself busy or productive certainly helps. My wife has recently gone through some hard times and did slip into a depression from it. The times that are worst for her is when she is bored and her mind jumps to thinking about the problems right away then. When she is active and doing things or being social with friends, I see much less of the negative patterns.

In the end though, acceptance is key. The past is the past and cannot be changed. We all make mistakes, but we have to take ownership of them and learn from them so as to not repeat them.

Reply
    Kenny Lee June 15, 2016

    Hi James,

    Thank you for reading. I wish your wife recover soon and applaud you for staying strong for her. It is very hard when we see people we love going into depresion, knowing the best that we can do is to provide them continuous support and be very patient with them.

    Kenny.

    Reply
Erin June 15, 2016

Hi Kenny, I love the quote “Grief is not a sign of weakness or lack of faith… It is the price of love” – Unknown

A lot of people put pressure on the grieving person when they think it’s been enough time already. But like you say, it’s important to allow yourself time, and it will be different for everyone.

Reply
    Kenny Lee June 15, 2016

    Hi Erin,

    Yes, sometimes we see those that grief in too much pain, that we urge them to quickly get over it. But it doesn’t work that way.

    Kenny.

    Reply
Sarah June 16, 2016

When my mother in law passed away a few years ago, it was a sudden tragic accident that my husband witnessed. I don’t know how we ever got over that one. But one thing my Bishop said that night was the pain we feel is because of our love for our mother. And when we let go of that love the pain will also leave. I didn’t quite get what he meant and I thought it wasn’t quite right. We’ll always hold onto our love for others when they pass. I think he meant it more for letting go of the wish that they were still with us.

Reply
    Kenny Lee June 16, 2016

    Hi Sarah,

    Thank you for sharing this painful experience of yours. It is one of the hardest thing to do. To let go of the clinging and yet to love them unconditionally. This is definitely easier said and done, but definitely the right thing to do to ease the suffering. Thank you.

    Kenny.

    Reply
Darren December 19, 2016

Keeping yourself busy is something that is really difficult, but is by far the most essential. When I find myself busy (working on a task that requires mental thought and skill).

Grief is something everyone faces. I think mitigating damage through time is the most important thing you can possibly do. Because while you’re letting time heal you need to be pragmatic in not letting other problems get out of hand. I think in many cases financial problems seem to be the biggest problem I see because it gets worse every single day. Makes me realize how lucky I am to have a decent job, parents that are healthy and good friends.

Reply
    Kenny Lee December 19, 2016

    Hi Darren,

    Thanks for your thoughtful sharing here. We often take for granted those we have. Until we lost them.

    Kenny.

    Reply
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