When You Lose Someone You Love

Vicky Thurlow – Owner Bio-One Western Slope Colorado


  1. WHAT’S NORMAL FOR THE GRIEVING PROCESS?
  2. WHAT DOES GRIEF LOOK LIKE?
  3. MYTHS & FACTS ABOUT GRIEF
  4. HOW DO I GO ON?
  1. WHAT’S NORMAL FOR THE GRIEVING PROCESS?
Normal Physical Reactions:
  • Change in appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Sleeping too much
  • Sleeplessness
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Weight changes
  • Stomach pain/nausea
  • Pain
  • Hair Loss
  • Chest pain/palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness in throat
Normal Social Reactions:
  • Withdrawal
  • Hyperactivity
  • Sensing loved one’s presence
  • Needing to retell the death story
  • Lack of interest in activities
  • Changes in relationships
Normal Emotional Reactions:
  • Feelings of abandonment
  • Denial
  • Irritability
  • Panic
  • Anger
  • Relief
  • Loneliness
  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Longing
  • Numbness
  • Hopelessness
  • Guilt
  • Blame
  • Helplessness
  • Emptiness
Normal Spiritual Reactions:
  • Anger at God
  • Disbelief in God
  • Questioning WHY
  • Changes in belief system
  • Great need to forgive or be forgiven
Normal Mental Reactions
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Forgetfulness
  • Preoccupied with the death
  • Suicidal thoughts so you can be with them
  1. WHAT DOES GRIEF LOOK LIKE?
    • Mourning – is an open expression of grief like crying, wailing, telling stories, sharing photos, and is usually connected to your cultural and religious values.
    • Bereavement – is the state of having suffered a loss. It is to be robbed of something.
    • Disenfranchised grief – is grief that is not acknowledged by society. Examples include grief from miscarriage, grief from suicide, grief from death of an ex, or loss of a pet.
    • Cumulative grief – is when you experience multiple losses and intensifies because you have not had time to grieve each loss.
    • Delayed grief – is when your reaction to the loss is postponed until a later time. It can sometimes be years before a seemingly unrelated event triggers something in you and when it does your grief response seems excessive to the current situation.
    • Traumatic grief – is the result from the loss of a loved one in a traumatic or sudden situation and involves both the intense grief from the sudden loss and the trauma experienced from the event.
  1. WHAT DOES GRIEF LOOK LIKE?
      MYTH - Grief is predictable and has orderly stages
    • FACT – All the different stages of grief can help people make sense of death, but grief does nothappen in a predictable way. Everyone grieves and mourns differently. And…it’s okay.
    • MYTH - You should move away from grief, not toward it
    • FACT – Many people grieve in isolation or attempt to run away from their grief. Shortly after the death, much of society think mourners should be “back to normal” quickly and therefore the mourner views grief as something to overcome rather than experience. Masking or moving away from grief can actually create more anxiety, confusion, and depressions. LEANING TOWARD AND NOT AWAY FROM THE PAIN WILL FACILITATE HEALING. Leaning toward grief means allowing yourself all the emotions, all the feelings.
    • MYTH – Tears of grief are a sign of weakness especially in men
    • FACT – Unfortunately people have heard “tears won’t bring him back’ or “he wouldn’t want you to cry”. However, crying is nature’s way of releasing internal tension in your body, and it allows you to communicate a need to be comforted. Research suggests that suppressing tears may actually increase an individual’s susceptibility to stress-related disorders.
    • MYTH –The goal is to “get over” your grief as soon as possible
    • FACT – You NEVER get over your grief BUT, you can learn to live with grief by integrating it into your life and by honoring the person you lost.
    • MYTH - No one can help you with your grief
    • FACT – Grieving and mourning may be the hardest work you will ever do. And as you know, hard work is less burdensome when others lend a hand. Sharing your experience with others will not make the pain disappear, but it can make it more bearable.
    • If you are experience any of these thoughts, feelings, and emotions, YOU ARE NORMAL. Know that you can move to the other side of grief and continue living.

     

  1. HOW DO I GO ON?
      Even though you have grief showing up in your body, in your thoughts, and in every area of your life, do your best to:
    • Accept yourself and know that you are completely normal.
    • Accept that fact that you are going through loss and pain because there’s no way around it. It is real, it is happening, but you can and will continue to move forward.
    • Accept that you are experiencing the worst time of your life and then give yourself permission to have all the thoughts, all the feelings, all the emotions, and all the pain. There is NOTHING wrong with your feelings, your emotions, or the pain you feel. It’s real.
    • LET YOURSELF EXPERIENCE IT.
    • Give yourself permission to CRY and then let yourself CRY and CRY and CRY. It’s very healing.
    • Give yourself permission to LAUGH, to SMILE, to REMINISCE and then do it.
    • Give yourself permission to THROW SOMETHING and if you feel like it throw something (without harming yourself or anyone else).
    • RUN if you need to.
    • CURL UP IN A BALL.
    • Give yourself space to express your feelings and then do it.
    • Know that you are ok. You are normal. You will get through this.

There is no doubt that there will be a period of adjustment in your world without your loved one. Just remember there are no rules. There is no right amount of time for this to happen. It will happen in your own time.

If there is someone with whom you can be vulnerable and weak without the fear of being judged, be around them. Share your feelings with them. If you do not have a friend or a family member who can be present with you or who can listen without judgment, please reach out to a counselor, pastor, priest, or an energy practitioner. There is always someone to listen.

Take a deep breath, allow a smile to cross your face when you think of your loved one and embrace your best memories.

It is with compassion that we at Bio-One Western Slope wish you peace, love, and healing.

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