Coping with the loss of a loved one.
We are composed entirely of energy and the purest energy that we possess is love. While love may be eternal, we as human beings, unfortunately are not. So, while we can all experience all the joy that love can bring, we must also experience the emotional upheaval that the loss of that love will create, and the loss of a loved one is the hardest trial we can face.
When we love, a powerful energy is created, and we feel that energy internally. Enthusiasm, positivity and a general joy for life are all contained within that energy. We recognise this as feeling and that feeling is projected physically outwards toward the someone that we love. When that someone is taken from us, the cycle of that energy comes to a halt. The energy will continue to generate, because the love that we feel for that person is still present, but as they are not, there is nowhere for that energy to go. Other emotional energies are then free to formulate; fear, anger and sadness being perhaps the most usual, but on occasion other emotions such as guilt can arise, and the depth of these emotions can overwhelm us.
Whatever the emotion felt, it’s important that it can flow and to be outwardly expressed. Repressed energy leads to innumerable physical and emotional problems including low self-esteem, insomnia, migraines, anxiety, high blood pressure, weight gain, weight loss, mood swings, rage, apathy, and too many more conditions to mention.
By the way, there is no right or wrong way to release that energy, crying with sadness is as permissible as shouting in anger, and by encouraging your energy to flow in this way, the loss will be experienced both emotionally and physically, which is paramount to the grieving process. Stay with how you feel, don’t resist thoughts of your loved ones and don’t avoid the emotions, whatever they may be, they are yours and you have a right to feel them. Don’t be scared, you won’t fall apart, even if at times you think you might, you are only expressing how you feel. And expressing how you truly feel, always and with all emotions, will be your greatest asset through the grieving process.
On the flip side, holding on to those emotions is not only counterproductive to the grieving process itself, but can also be damaging to our long term mental and physical well-being.If the energy of the pent-up emotion is not expressed, it will remain stuck within your body and there is a danger it will become stagnant. Stagnant energy is the precursor to both clinical depression and physical illness.
Honouring your emotions at this stage is without doubt the only advice I would give without direct consultation. We are individual and therefore feel our grief in a unique way. There is neither standard or norm when it comes to the reaction or time frame for those in grief and therefore any syllabus or template for such should be resisted. It is likely that we will mourn differently for the loss of a father than a son, a friend from a pet. That does not mean that we hurt more or love less, only that we will experience the hurt differently. Your grief is, as your love, unique.
Don’t expect anyone to understand how you feel, however much they may love you, they won’t, that’s uniqueness in action, they will though want to help, allow them to do so through the act of love and kindness, that’s a beautiful thing and whatever your state of mind, at least some of that beauty will filter down past your grief. Be aware though that their primary concern is that they will want you to feel better, immediately, because after all, don’t we hate to see the people that we love in emotional pain? But this may not be the time for that, some of your time in grieving isn’t about feeling better, it’s just about feeling whatever it is that you feel, and your loved ones may well struggle with seeing you express your pain. Support from a loved one can be invaluable, but advice from a loved one can often be counterproductive to a natural grieving process. You cannot advise someone when you feel the pain of their pain.
Grieving is not a race against time. Although time by its own merit can help to heal. We do not have to expect nor accept a certain way to be. Indeed, there may be many changes, both subtle or otherwise in the way we feel during this process. Grief is a natural emotion and so while transient, as all emotions are, is as powerful as love itself and as with love, needs time, space and understanding to evolve.
Seeking professional guidance at this time might be the last thing that you think of, but the thing that might help you most. It can give you the freedom to talk things through with someone impartial and versed in the grieving process, and this will allow you to gain clarity and foresight.
You can also watch my video: Top Six Points on Coping with Loss