Grief & Loss
What are grief and loss?
People grieve when they lose someone or something that is important to them. Grief is not a fixed moment in time, but rather a process which usually takes time. During this period, people can typically feel a wide range of emotions including deep sadness, anger, frustration, regret, shock and numbness. Different people react differently to loss; some may experience intense and overwhelming emotions for months and years whereas others may withdraw and detach from reality as a response. The bigger the perceived loss, the more intense this grieving process will most likely be.
It is normal to feel devastated whilst this process is underway. During these moments, you start getting to grip with the new reality and finding new ways to cope and thrive. Finding support in loved ones and communities can be crucial and having someone to talk to is known to provide solace in this time of need.
Things you can do to help yourself:
- Reach out to friends and loved ones who can be understanding and who can accompany you throughout this process
- Seek professional help, someone who has experience accompanying people who have undergone and overcome grief
- Sleep, exercise and eat well. Take care of your body
- Maintain a daily routine, including regular activities that used to brighten your day, even if you do not feel like doing them anymore
- Keep a diary, an outlet for your thoughts and feelings
- Write a letter to your loved one, expressing things that you wish to say to them
- Keep a treasured box of memorabilia which remind you of your loved one
How to help someone who is grieving:
- Try to listen and understand. Just being present makes a big difference.
- Engage the person in everyday life and activities – there is more to life than just the grief and the pain.
- Ask them directly – how can I help you? Practical support, like accompanying to appointments or getting the groceries, is often underrated and can make a big difference.
- Share your memories with them of the loved one they are missing if possible.
- Encourage them to seek professional help if some time has passed and the grief and the pain have not abated.
Grief & Depression
Grief and depression can look and feel the same at first glance. Both of them may bring up the same emotions, apathy, insomnia and poor appetite. However, depression can develop when the sadness persists and intensifies over time. Depression also often leads the person to feel worthless, and the person might start thinking about suicide. If this happens, or else if the grief starts having significant effects on all aspects of your life, then one should definitely seek professional help. See here for the list of resources available.