Grief is the normal reaction to experiencing a loss. We usually think about this as the reaction to the death of a loved one but we can also experience grief after the end of a relationship, moving to a new community, changing schools or any other time when we lose something that is important to us.
Grief affects everyone differently and can affect us in all kinds of ways including:
- Emotionally (Sadness, Anger, Guilt)
- Physically (Tiredness, Changes in appetite)
- Intellectually (Hard to concentrate, Memory problems)
- Socially (Not wanting to be around others, Feeling alone)
- Spiritually (Thinking about the meaning of life, Wondering about God)
Grief is a NORMAL reaction to a very difficult situation. Many people can cope with their grief with the support of friends, family and their community. Sometimes extra support is needed. If you feel you need help with your grief, contact our office.
Tips for coping with grief
- REACH OUT TO OTHERS – You can reach out to friends or family for support. Spend time with others who know what you have gone through. You don’t have to talk about your loss all the time but it can be comforting to be with others who know what you are coping with. If you feel that you are alone, you can look for a Bereavement Support Group or contact our office
- LET YOURSELF FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL – There is no right or wrong way to feel after a loss but it is important to take the time to recognize your feelings and let them out. If you push your feelings away or ignore them, they will usually creep back when you aren’t expecting it. Find some safe ways to express your feelings. You can:
- Talk to others
- Find a safe place to cry
- Write your feelings down
- Do something different to let the feelings out, like ripping up paper or scribbling with a crayon
- GIVE YOURSELF AND OTHERS TIME – Grief is a complicated experience and everyone reacts differently. It can take many months to start to feel “like myself”. Be patient.
- HONOUR YOUR MEMORIES – If you have lost someone or something important to you, find a way to save and honour your memories.
- Create a scrapbook
- Write a letter
- Choose an ornament for your home that helps you remember the person or thing you have lost
- Make a list of good times
- Make a Memory Box
- Get involved in a cause that was important to the person who died
- LOOK AFTER YOURSELF – As much as possible try to eat, sleep and exercise. Your body and mind are connected and looking after your body can help you feel better.
- PREPARE FOR DIFFICULT TIMES – Grief comes in waves. Sometimes they are small and gentle and other times they are big and overwhelming. Prepare yourself for the times when your grief may grow again. These might include hearing certain songs, starting a certain activity again, certain places, anniversaries, birthdays. Try to think ahead about situations that may be difficult for you and develop a plan to cope like taking a friend with you, spending the day alone to think, carrying a special item in your pocket.