Coping with Grief and Loss
Grieving is different for everyone... this is not an exact set of instructions telling you how to cope, but I hope it may help at least one person in some sort of way.
Before I begin, I would just like to start by saying,
if you have recently lost somebody—I am truly sorry.
If you know that you are losing somebody—I am truly sorry.
If you lost somebody a long time ago—I am truly sorry.
Coping with the loss of a loved one is something everybody experiences in their lifetime—but our ways of coping all differentiate completely.
Nobody can tell you how long it will take for you, if ever, to get over a loss.
Nobody can tell you how long it will be before you laugh again.
Nobody can tell you how long it will be before it's not the first thing you think about every morning.
However, I can promise you that it does get better.
The Five Stages of Grief
Grief is an extremely complex concept to understand, and we may often find ourselves wondering if the pain will ever cease to exist. However, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross developed a theory explaining all the different stages of grief that we may go through. People may not experience these stages in the same order, or they may not experience some of the stages at all. Identifying the five stages often helps individuals through their grieving process, as they come to the realization that they are not alone with their emotions. We can find comfort in knowing that other people have experienced, to some degree, the same level of pain that we are experiencing.
The first of the stages is denial. As we try to process the situation and understand that we have lost someone, we are also trying to deal with an overwhelming sense of emotional pain. You may find it hard to comprehend the fact that someone, that you love dearly, will no longer be around. This can become particularly difficult, if you were only speaking to the loved one recently. Your sense of reality is completely distorted, and naturally you dismiss the idea of losing them. During this stage, you try to prevent the inevitable. It's hard to believe that someone you hold so close to your heart is no longer here. The person you once found comfort in, is no longer here to comfort you when you need it most. Denial helps us pace our emotions and feelings of grief and sorrow. It's life's way of allowing us to deal with only what we can handle.
"Somebody you love has left you, how could they?"
"Why has the world been so cruel, why you?"
You're angry because you didn't realize, you're angry with yourself.
Anger is a very common emotion during a grieving process, whether that be at yourself, or at the person you have lost. Minor problems suddenly become major irritations. People you would never dream of shouting at are suddenly the one's you push away.
What I have learnt, is that this stage in particular can be experienced at any moment during the grieving process, perhaps even after you've experienced some form of acceptance. You're both angry that they aren't here anymore, and also because they aren't here to help you through this process.
"Why didn't I notice?"
"Why didn't I spend more time with them?"
"Why didn't I go over that day?"
During the process, you may find yourself blaming yourself—you start to blame yourself or other people. I can't tell you not to do this, because that will be irrelevant. Just know, that it is NOT your fault.
You may find yourself trying to bring back what you have lost—"I'll never drink again if they could just come back". Nothing can deny the inevitable.
The only cure for grief, is to grieve. It's the price we pay for love.
Never blame yourself.
This is when our feelings catch up with reality. We come to terms with what has happened, and we don't know how life will ever be the same.
Filled with empty feelings and great sadness. You start to withdraw yourself from activities you once loved to do—sadness creeps in with great intensity.
You feel alone.
You feel like the only person in the world that could ever feel this way.
The mask comes off, the brave face you've been putting on disappears as an overwhelming sense of sorrow dictates you.
This is okay.
It is okay to not be okay.
It's okay if you wake up in the morning, and do nothing.
This is one of the many necessary steps of the grieving process.
It gets better.
Acceptance does not mean that you think the whole situation is fine.
Acceptance does not mean that life returns to normal, and you forget about everything.
Acceptance is accepting the reality that your loved one is no longer physically with you—this is your reality, and you learn to accept this.
Coping with loss is a very individual experience, but others can be there for you to help you through the experience.
The sad reality is that you will never truly get over a loss, but rather readjust to this new reality, and learn to accept your loss and move on. You will build yourself back up piece by piece, but you will never be the same.
"It's just fine to feel a little heavy, and it's just fine to sit here and catch my breath, and it's just fine to be a mess at times, and it's just fine to be relatively normal sometimes. It's just fine to miss them. It's just fine to let it all hit me, surrendering and succumbing. And it's just fine to remember that grief has no rules, and that really, it will in many ways last as long as love does. Forever".
(Scribbles & Crumbs)
One Last Thing...
Remember, your loved one wouldn't want to see you in such distress. Get up in the morning, and carry on doing what you love. If they were here, what would they be saying to you? What would they want you to be doing? You are a brilliant human being, who can achieve anything they wish—if you put your heart and soul into it.
Make them proud.
I'd like to dedicate this entry to my Granda Norman, whom I sadly lost in September. I've found myself doing things that I love, in order to make you proud, and I hope I am.
I will never forget you, for as long as I shall live, and I thank you sincerely for helping me strive to do the best in all I do, despite not being here with me.
Forever in my heart.
My friend Mitchell Wilson and I have been working tirelessly on a performance that explores the five stages of grief. All proceeds will be donated to a charity called Parkinsons UK, an awful disease caused by the loss of nerve cells in the brain, leading to a reduction of the chemical dopamine, which is essential for regulating movement in the body— something my Granda suffered with for a long time.
Give the trailer a watch, and let me know what you think.
I hope this helps you in some sort of way.