It seems no one understands your grief or loss. Perhaps your loved one’s birthday or death anniversary occurred around the holidays. The holiday season might bring up painful and unpleasant memories. You might even feel the grief appears to be so fresh and you seem to be experiencing it intensely. You wonder if you are alone. No one seems to understand how you feel. Everyone seems to be happy as they meet up with family and friends. Gift exchange is off your list of things to do.
Things to Remember about Grief/Loss
1. Remember grief is unique, personal, and unpredictable. No two grief or grieving experiences are the same even when the loss appears to be the same. Everyone has different grief coping methods.
2. We do not get over grief. We get through and continue to live life with a new “normal,” different realities and experiences.
3. There is no definitive or specific time limitation to when you are allowed to express grief.
4. You are not expected to think of your loved one 24/7.People often feel guilty because they fear they might have forgotten their loved ones. They might feel that being happy might be seen as not missing their loved ones as much as they should. It’s okay to take time out from grief.
5. Not everyone will acknowledge, or understand and that’s okay.
5 Doable Tips
1. Be Choosy. Exercise your right to say yes or no. You can participate in the activities around you as much or as little as you are able. You have the right to choose and decide how you plan to spend the holidays.
2. Be Grief-Unique. Don’t compare your grief with what you or others expected it to be. You might have heard about the stages of grief, the tasks of grief, the length of time one should grief, and more. Be true to how you feel about it, how you feel about it has nothing to do with how anybody else is feeling.
Just because you can’t cry or your cry too much does not mean your grief is better or worse. Time to remember that your grief is unique to you and depends on so many factors. You are not the same person before and after the death or loss. Don’t compare who you are now to who you were years ago before the experience.
3. Be Self-Aware. Avoid Avoidance of distressing emotions, thoughts and feelings. The tendency might be to get distracted with other things so that we don’t feel distressing, uncomfortable feelings. The more we distract and avoid the more difficult it becomes to get through grief. This is not about self-blame, guilt or shame about what should have or could have happened. This is about naming what’s going on and finding how to take care of the pain and heal.
4. Be Expressive. Find something positive to do in memory of your loved one. Create encouraging positive memories. Examples include:-
• Volunteer for a cause dear to your loved one.
• Donate to a cause dear to your loved one. You can
• Eat at their favorite restaurant.
• Listen to their favorite music.
• Cook their favorite meal.
• Create a memory box
5. Be Self-Caring. Are you taking care of yourself and your needs? Getting out of bed, bathing, eating, sleeping, exercising, connecting with others. Talking to others who understand is helpful. Consider joining a grief support group.
If you’re having difficulty coping with grief and would like some understanding and guidance, please contact us at https://nebraskatherapist.com/contact/
Jumoke Omojola is a Licensed Independent Mental Therapist in Omaha, Nebraska where she helps adults nurture their mental health and embrace mental wellness.
Jumoke serves Bellevue, Papillion, Ralston, LaVista and other surrounding Omaha and Council Bluffs. She is available online at your convenience
Contact her at https://nebraskatherapist.com/contact/