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How to Deal With Everyday Life Grief

What comes to your mind when you think of the word grief? Most people think of death. Even if you Google it, the listings that come up are related to the emotional response that surfaces from the death of a love one. There is very good information and help out there related to that topic. So the purpose of this article is to talk about the silent discounted grief that is part of our daily life but we don’t even know is there for the most part. Believe it or not we all grief since we are born and our emotional health depends on grant part on the mastering of this process. We all hear the word grief here and there but even people who are in the midst of the process don’t know what the word grief means or what the process really involves. The English word comes from the Old French grève, meaning a heavy burden. This makes sense when you consider that grief often weighs you down with sorrow and other emotions that can have both psychological and physical consequences.

There are many unconventional situations that produce grief reactions and most of them are just part of being alive. Judy Viorst in her book “Necessary Losses: The Loves, Illusions, Dependencies, and Impossible Expectations That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Grow” talks about most of them in great depth. She mentions how since the moment that we leave our mom’s wound we experience our first loss which is necessary to being alive. Why? Because loss is not a one-dimensional process. When we loose we also win but sometimes the pain from the loss might blind us from seeing the winning aspect of it.

Everyday we confront different and many type of losses – loss of independence, loss of a loved one, break ups and divorces, loss of security when we move to a new place or loose a job, disappointments, pervasive loss of one’s personal sense of well being and adequacy. . . so forth and so on. Even each positive stage of life carries on a loss, going to college, getting married, having a baby, retiring…just to mention a few. So if we can look at grief, sometimes, in a different way, as an essential part of living and growing, we could start understanding and accepting grief as a normal part of life. Here some tips to help you cope with it:

• Like with any sad or uncomfortable feeling or part of life, our reaction might be to try to run away from it. With grief the same happens. Contrary to what we do, it is important to understand that it is better if we welcome and try to go through it. “Easier said than done,” you might be thinking but you just can’t go around it. Grief is a process and you have to move through it to come across the other side.

• Be careful with judgment and allow all your feelings to come up. Since judgment is part of being humans we tend to classify feelings as good and bad. While grieving something or someone, try to stay away as much as you can from judging what you feel. Just feel it.

• Be patient and give yourself time. When there is a change it takes sometime for our internal worlds to adjust to a new reality. Grief requires adjustment and is a healing process. Notice the word process, which means takes time. Even though it doesn’t feel good, it is invaluable for the redefinition of our core self.

• Allow yourself to have fun. Sometimes because something bad happened we don’t allow ourselves to have some joyful moments. Why? Because we tell ourselves that might mean that we don’t care or that we are bad people. Judgment again! Well, let me tell you that the human nature has the amazing capacity to tolerate or do more than one thing at the same time. So you can be grieving and can fun at the same time.

• Surround yourself of familiar things and faces. A change increases uncertainty and vulnerability so the more you can be around routine and all time friends and family members the better.

• Tolerate the discomfort and hang in there. Try to do it without resorting to substances or unhealthy behaviors. Knowing your coping style when under stress might help you to know what to do while grieving. Easy recipe to follow: do exactly the opposite. Eg. If you tend to eat, try to exercise; if you tend to isolate, call a friend, if you try to overdo things, try to relax etc.

• Do not compare yourself to others. This is an easy trap. Because we know other people that went through a similar situation we push ourselves to heal as other did. Celebrate your uniqueness and allow yourself to have your own process.

• Keep in mind that grief is about remembering while attaching to something new. It is not about forgetting the past but it is about finding a way to keep people, places or experiences as part of who we are but being able to look into what the new horizons offer to us and see the beauty of it.

• Ask for help if necessary. If things get out of hand, the pain becomes intolerable for too long or adjustment doesn’t happen, do not hesitate to ask for professional help. Sometimes friends and family mean well but they don’t really give you the best advice.

As Karen O. Johnson MEd, founder & CEO of Everyday Life Grief Consulting says: “Life is made up of loss and it needs to be accepted and addressed to survive it in a healthy manner. Transforming the shattered dreams of grief can be a painful, but illuminating experience.” And remember that there is not a typical response to loss, as there is no typical loss (regardless of its nature). Our grieving is as individual as our lives.

Article Source: http://ezineseeker.com/?expert=Isabel_Kirk

How to Deal with Grief and Loss

Nothing can ever prepare you for a loss. One day a person is in your life and the next they’re gone. The shock and utter disbelief leaves you in extraordinary pain which may cripple you emotionally for a very long time. The emotions you experience from a loss are often the same whether the loss is the result of a death or break up. You are left feeling completely devastated, utterly helpless, abandoned and alone.

When you lose someone you loved very deeply the pain cuts you to the core. It completely immobilises you leaving you unable to think straight, not knowing how to feel or how to respond because your emotions are scattered everywhere. When you don’t know how to adequately cope with the situation you wonder how you will ever survive. Contemplating the future becomes painful and bleak because you simply cannot imagine a life without that person.

It is extraordinarily difficult coping with daily life when you are wracked with so much pain. It can be a struggle just to get out of bed in the morning because you feel as though you have absolutely nothing to look forward to and that your life is over. You may feel like a walking corpse, i.e. feel utterly dead and hollow inside because when the person left, it is as though a part of you left with them.  Their departure may have caused you to lose your faith, your innocence or your passion for life, leaving you in the depths of despair. Whatever died inside of you may remain missing for quite some time until you find the means to feel whole again. While you remain deeply sad you may think it is impossible to ever feel happy again but the truth is you can and you will. You are likely to experience the darkest day of your life before you start the recovery process but when you do, you will feel tremendously relieved that the worst is finally over.  Recovery is often slow and imperceptible and you may not realise your progress until one day you find yourself laughing and enjoying moments again. 

It’s a savage blow when the man you love abandons you and runs off with another woman especially if you had previously found out about his cheating and he promised you he would never see her again. Out of love you may have given him the benefit of the doubt, another chance to correct his wrongs because you wanted to believe he was a good man who simply made a mistake. But for him to betray you once again and destroy that trust only proves he is not worthy of your love. Some men are cowards; they may opt for the easy way out and run from conflict rather than deal with it responsibly. Instead of doing the right thing and ending a relationship properly they might simply vanish and are never heard from again. This leaves a woman in a terrible position; completely shattered and hurt beyond measure because the kindness she was willing to extend to him was utterly worthless.

When you have been mistreated by someone your outlook is never the same again. It may cause you to doubt yourself, your faith in others and your notion of what love should be. Some women have confessed that it would have been easier if the man had died rather than have to live with the knowledge of his betrayal. Death is final, absolute and usually not the person’s choice but the deliberate deception required to hide another relationship from you has to be elaborate and calculated and is as bad, if not worse, than the betrayal itself.  You may remain traumatised by it for years to come.

Coping with grief is one of the hardest things you will ever encounter in life. When you are consumed with so much heart wrenching pain you may find it difficult relating to people around you and for a period may distance yourself from those who care. Well meaning friends will try to comfort you and offer advice as to what you should do but the truth is you’ll probably feel too depressed to do anything for a very long time. Unless your friends have experienced a similar situation themselves, they will have no notion of the depth of the agony harboured within you. They may offer kind words, a sympathetic ear, or a shoulder to cry on but really they are powerless to give you the assistance you need. The only person who could possibly erase the pain you are feeling is gone and it’s unlikely he is ever coming back.

People grieve in different ways. Some people turn to family and friends for support whilst others might isolate themselves and prefer to deal with their grief on their own. Not everyone feels comfortable divulging their emotions; they may not like to appear weak and vulnerable or to ask others for help.  They might choose to conceal the extent to which they are hurting because they don’t want others to see how much pain they’re in or to be an object of pity.  But when something catastrophic happens in your life you do need a crutch, someone to lean on because you cannot expect to function normally. There is no shame in reaching out and asking someone for help; it is usually during our hour of need that we discover who our true friends are. A true friend can be your greatest source of strength when you yourself are at your lowest point in your life and feel utterly broken inside.

Sometimes the trauma and pain you encounter from a loss is so deep that it overrides any happy occasion that takes place thereafter. You may find it hard to enjoy life because the pain is so potent that it blocks any form of positive emotion.  Special occasions you once found pleasure in become a non event and you might find yourself sitting there waiting for it to be over whilst all the others are enjoying themselves. Sadness can swallow you up and might cause you to feel like you’re living in a fog because what you experienced just doesn’t seem real. Day to day life can all of a sudden become very burdensome.  Even the most trifling and mundane of tasks can be near impossible for you and it might seem like you are running on autopilot just to get by.  

When we are forced into a situation we didn’t want we have no choice but to weather the storm the best way we can. We may not always know what to do but that’s okay, there is no ‘normal’ way to grieve. Everyone experiences pain differently and we all have our own timeline. The deeper we love, the more emotionally attached we are and the longer the recovery period is likely to be. It is hard to accept that a future without your loved one has now become your new reality. Your relationship was cut short and ended suddenly but you are still here and you need to live.

There are people in your life who are unique and irreplaceable and to lose them often leaves a gaping hole in your heart.  Sometimes you can remain sad for a long period of time before your heart begins to mend. Don’t waste time worrying about things you can’t control, focus on those things you can. Of course this is easier said than done but dwelling on the past keeps you there and plays havoc on your mind.  You will find letting go is a process, not an event and the severity of your pain will gradually ease over time. Finding positive influences and regaining a sense of purpose will pull you through.

Tatiana Lestal is an Estonian Australian writer who has worked in the British and Australian film and television industries for the past 15 years. She is passionate about film and has been involved in the running of many film festivals and in the production of short and feature films. Tatiana has always had an keen interest in writing, it’s a pursuit that runs in her family. She is related to acclaimed Estonian writer Peeter Lindsaar and Linguistics author Professor Ralf Lesthal. Tatiana is now focusing her energies on comedy writing and is currently working on her first feature length screenplay. Tatiana lives in the beautiful Bavarian city of Munich and in her spare time enjoys travel, photography and craft design.

Helping Remaining Pets Deal With the Loss of Their Companion

Pet loss is often much more devastating and painful than we anticipate. After all, pets see are our loyal companions, loving us unconditionally no matter what. We mourn the loss of dear furry friends and do all we can to work through our grief.

However, what of the remaining pets who are also sensing the loss and reacting because of it? Many people never stop to consider that their existing animals are probably going through a grief process all their own. Animals form bonds just as humans do and when one member of the family passes away, the other pets feel the loss as well. We once created a pet headstone for a cat owner. Her remaining cat was the son of her cat that had passed, and she sent us a photo of him lying next to the pet grave marker in her yard, just gazing at it. She said that he seemed to just know what the marker was and that for a couple of weeks he would go lie next to it and just gaze at it as if he knew that it represented his mother. Perhaps her spirit was there. Our animal companions are very intuitive.

Many pet owners are at a loss for how to deal with these situations. After all, it is not as if you can explain pet loss to another animal. Therefore, similar to how pet loss works with children, it is important to provide existing animals with extra love and support during this difficult time. It is important to provide them with comfort and extra attention as they process through their own sense of loss.

Existing pets may react in several different ways, depending on the type of animal that was lost, if there was an illness beforehand, and the relationship between the pets in the home. For example, though many people are not aware of it, cats will feel the loss of a dog and vice versa. However, a cat is not likely to react as dramatically over the loss of a dog as it would over the loss of another cat. Pets can react by changing eat patterns (eating more or much, much less for a period of time); walking around the home making unusual sounds or noises (many experts think this is a call of some sort to the missing animal); acting out with poor behavior not characteristic of your pet, bringing the toys of the lost pet to you (as if to say “where are they?”) as well as a host of other odd behaviors.

It is important not to berate them during this time; recognize that they are in trauma just as you are. You must be extra patient and work with them to get both of you through this terrible ordeal. Remember that the pet loss is affecting them as well as you; the difference is, they can’t tell you how they feel about it and they can’t participate in a pet memorial service to help to assuage the grief. They react on instinct and some of their behaviors in reaction to the loss will reflect this.

Shower them with extra attention. Put in extra time playing with your pet and reassuring them of their place in your life. Put away toys, dishes and other items that belonged to the lost pet in order to avoid confusion over the whereabouts of the other pet. Remember that the same way in which you are grieving, your pet is as well. It is your duty and responsibility to help them through this terrible time and do all you can to ensure the most minimal disruption in their lives as they grieve the loss of a pet.

Colleen Mihelich

How to Deal With a Death of a Pet

The death of a pet can be very sad. It’s made more difficult with young children because they have a hard time understanding death. Explaining can it can be tough. If you tell your five-year-old their cat has passed on they might be clueless as to what “passed on” means. “Lucky, passed on where, Mom? Did she go across the street?” Even if you use the word death, young children have a hard time grasping how long death is. If you explain to your child that death means a long period of time you still might get, “Does that mean Spot will come back in three weeks?” Three weeks is a long time to a five-year-old.

At age six I still couldn’t understand how long summer was. My older brother showed me a calendar and flipped up three pages saying that’s how long it was. That helped, some. At least I knew it was for a long time. You actually have to tell your child their beloved pet will not be coming back. You can’t pussy foot around death. Death is final. You do not want your child to think an animal is coming back if it’s not. Please do not tell your child that Pickles went to live on a big farm in Idaho if Pickles died. This is a lie and serves no purpose. And your lie can be exposed. However, if your family’s belief system is that there is an afterlife you can tell your child you believe Fluffy is in Heaven. This is a belief. It differs from “Pickles went to live in Idaho.” This statement is a lie because you’re purposely being deceptive. It’s a deliberate falsehood. You know Pickles did not go there.

Children grieve in different ways. One of your children might sob, another could pester you with questions, and your last child might get real quiet and refuse to talk. Each child has their own personality. And because of that each had a different relationship with the deceased pet. Moreover, one child could have been closer to the family pet than another. Did the animal sleep in bed with them? It won’t anymore. And that’s sad. Be kind. Don’t brush away your child’s feeling and tell them to buck up. If you offer to take them for ice cream to cheer them up, do NOT renege on it if they say no. They might be feeling so heartsick they can’t eat right now. Take your child in a week.

Some children like to have a small memorial service for their pet. I’ve been to many grave site pet services in backyards. Fish. Hamster. Rat. Turtle. Lizard. Depending on where you live, bigger pets, such as dogs, cats, etc., that have died have to be taken to your local animal services agency to be taken care of. You should check. You can have your pet cremated and have a small memorial service. The memorial can be just sharing good memories. “Remember how Rover would lay down low and sneak over to the counter and steal pizza?” Then it was a pain, now it could be a funny memory. Maybe one child will draw a picture of good times with Rover. A memorial service provides closure. Which is important. That’s why saying Pickles went to live in Idaho when he didn’t is wrong. There is no closure.

Jay Marie has a B.A. in Sociology. She is a Former Nanny to children with parents in the Entertainment Industry. To learn more about ways to help your child with issues they might have and recommended programs visit http://www.Foundit-4u.com/Harmony-in-the-Home.htm Because you deserve Harmony in the Home