“Grief is the price we pay for love” – loss, grief and bereavement – why it’s ok to not be ok
In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York in 2001, Queen Elizabeth II, in support of those who had lost loved ones in the attacks spoke the poignant words: “Grief is the price we pay for love.”
With the death of HRH last month, many people have been experiencing grief, and their own emotions about the passing of their own loved ones as well. Grief and sadness are completely natural feelings and people deal with loss in very different ways. Grief is a personal journey that takes time.
There’s no right way to grieve
When someone you care about passes away there are a huge range of emotions you may experience. You may be sad, lonely, numb, resentful, anxious, worried about the future, angry, shocked – you might even feel calm or relieved that they aren’t suffering any more. There is no right or wrong way to feel and it’s important that you don’t put pressure on yourself to ‘fix’ how you feel, or ‘get back to normal’ faster than you need to. Remember, loss and bereavement take time to process. It’s not a linear journey and you may face setbacks.
The five stages of grief
These are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These are a general explanation of the cycle of grief we go through when something traumatic happens. These can be cycled through quickly or slowly, and there may be many cycles of these five stages on the road to healing from the loss of a loved one. They are our way of dealing with the loss and working through what has happened as we start to adjust to the new normal.
Healing takes time
While some people appear to recover from grief quite quickly, for others it can be a long process. (Or people may hide their struggles.) Often, even when we think we are ok, a life event or situation comes up and the feelings of loss are amplified, especially during the first few years – the first Christmas, Birthday, Wedding, or celebration without the person can make the grief feel very close again.
Again, it’s important not to rush yourself. Many people find sharing memories of their loved one or looking at photographs helps. Often when you start to heal, people find themselves not thinking about the person all the time – this can be scary, and people can feel guilty – but this is all part of the healing process and is totally natural. As you heal you will find things to enjoy again, times to laugh with friends again and this will become easier (and you will feel less guilty about it,) over time.
It’s important to talk
Grief is personal to each individual but wherever you are in your healing journey, it’s important to talk. Loss and grief can be very isolating, so it’s important to reach out to friends and family. Equally, it is important that if you know someone who is going through grief, that you also try and reach out to them – a simple letter, text or email can make all the difference in someone feeling loved and recognised.
Just remember that whatever stage of grief you are going through that you don’t have to go through it alone. GoodOaks Homecare professionals and our team are here if you need a listening ear over a cup of tea.
There are also many organisations that offer grief counselling: