There is no easy way around grief. It is a natural response to the loss of someone special or something we value.
The words death and grief often go together. But we need to think in terms of loss and grief - we can grieve when a marriage or relationship breaks up, when we lose our job, when we are diagnosed with a health issue, when we move house, when dementia changes a person we once knew...the list of losses is almost endless.
Grief is about more than tears and sadness. It affects us on four different levels - our feelings, thoughts, behaviours and physical wellness.
Grief is not well understood in our society and some people try to deny it, postpone it or dodge it. Basically, however, when someone close to you has died, there will be big and small adjustments which have to be made in your life – and these could bring uncertainty, frustration, fear, sadness and change as each new day comes along. You will change. Your routine will change. Your moods will change. All of this is called ‘grief’. It’s really about adapting to changes in your life, your thoughts, your hopes, your beliefs and your future.
Yes, whether we like it or not, loss in its many forms cannot be avoided. Whilst we all know that death is a natural part of living, when it happens to someone we know, we are often shocked and believe it’s unfair. We may ask ‘why?’ over and over. But grief is a teacher – through loss we can grow in courage and wisdom and learn to appreciate the pain and loneliness of others. It also presents an opportunity to develop our values, beliefs and relationships as we work out just who and what really matter in our lives. Yet, it’s a hard way to learn. We may not like it. It can be a frightening and lonely experience. But if we choose to love someone, we must also be willing to let that person go when their life comes to an end.