Everyone grieves at some point in their lives, whether it is losing a loved one, losing a job, or losing a friendship. It’s a process that affects us one way or another.
Despite how common and widespread grief can be, there’s still a lot of information that many people don’t know about the grieving process.
I know how painful the grieving process is firsthand. I’ve lost all my grandparents before I was ten years old, I lost two of my beloved dogs, which is just as heart-wrenching as losing a human, and I lost my Father two years ago, whom I am still grieving for to this day.
According to the Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, there are five stages of grief. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and acceptance. However, the process isn’t as linear as it sounds. Sometimes I feel like I experience these stages simultaneously. Anger that I am forced to accept my tragedy or the denial towards the depression it caused me, it’s not a step-by-step process for some people.
Many assume that grief is simply a form of intense sadness that people go through after losing someone close. While that is a central part of the grieving process, it also affects you mentally and physically.
In terms of the physical effects of grief, the first two months after losing my father, I started to break out on my nose out of all places, presumably due to the amount of stress I was under. However, I was surprisingly sleeping rather well for someone who usually has difficulty sleeping. Grief has a way of making you feel exhausted in all forms, hence why I slept so well.
According to the health information website WebMD, some of the other physical side effects of grief include fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, headaches, and in more extreme cases, shortness of breath and chest pains.
However, the grieving process can mentally affect you on the same level as it does emotionally. For example, my family and I were ostracized and vilified by our relatives when my father passed away, making the grieving process far more difficult and leaving me with severe trust issues.
It’s incredibly important to show love and support for a friend or a loved one who is grieving, comfort them, and make them feel like they’re not alone. Ignoring a loved one who is grieving can make them feel isolated and only make their suffering far worse.
If you or anyone you know is going through a difficult time in their lives, K-W Counselling Services Inc, located in Kitchener, Ont., offers a grief counselling program designed to help those suffering and put them on the road to healing.
We will also experience grief at some point in our lives, but know that you are never alone. It does get easier.