Loss comes in many forms, a relationship loss, a job loss, or a loss through death.
Anytime we lose something or someone, it is usually followed by grief.
Society likes to put a hierarchy on grief and loss, indicating that a death loss is the worst loss that a person can experience and should be grieved in one year’s time. This is not true. There is no hierarchy nor timeline with grief and loss because it is an individual journey and each person experiences it in their own way.
Grief often feels like facing a giant forest, so big that you will want to go around it. The forest, however, is too large and the only way forward is to go through it. The forest feels dark and scary, and sometimes you may lose your footing, fall and rest for a while. The only way to survive the forest is to take your time and make your way through it.
When experiencing grief it is important to feel all the emotions that come with it. This may seem overwhelming and at times confusing. A way to cope through the emotions that come with grief is to practice distractions.
A distraction is a healthy activity that will give you respite from your emotions. For example, going to the gym, working on a vehicle, wood working, drawing, writing and singing, are all great distractions. However, it is important to balance out feeling the emotions and distracting yourself.
To feel the emotions that come with grief you can let yourself experience mourning. Grief expert Dr. Kirsti A. Dyer says grief is a “normal reaction to an abnormal event.” She recommends that people try mourning with others and to share stories about the loss.
An alternative way to process emotions is “purge journalling,” which means writing out what is on your mind, uncensored, and then destroying it when ready. “Purge journaling” is best followed by a grounding technique to bring you back into the present. Remember, there is no wrong or right way to grieve as long as it is not causing harm.
If you need someone to talk to, contact Envision Counselling and Support Centre to find out more about our programs like Rapid Access Counselling and Bridging the Distance. These programs accommodate both in-person and telephone needs. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 9-1-1.