Grief: How to Move Through Your Loss

Grieving is a normal reaction to losing something worthwhile in one's life.

Different people process grief differently, as everyone grieves in their unique way. Whether you are grieving the loss of a person, a relationship, health, or your old life, there is no unique grieving pattern.

Still, the underlying sense of pain and suffering is universal. Grief occurs as a reaction to unwanted change, and it may impact every aspect of your life, taking its toll on your health, relationships, and well-being in general.

Therefore, it is vital to deliberately work through grief so you can accept the reality and move on.

The Importance of Working Through Grief Intentionally

Why is it important to work through your grief intentionally?

Because the grieving process only starts when we accept what has happened. This is the healing power of dealing with the loss. Working through grief can encourage you to become more self-compassionate and resilient, accept the new reality and get on with your life.

Letting Be: The Importance of Crying

Crying is a natural way to relieve emotional tension. Crying throughout the mourning process means accepting the loss as a reality. There are no tears as long as we deny the reality of our loss. Crying means letting go of resistance. Only when we accept the loss and let the pain touch us can we begin to process our emotions and heal.

So, mourning tears prove that you are still capable of going on despite the devastating effect of your loss. And by admitting what has happened, you allow your loss to get to you and respond to it with feelings.

When you lose someone or something significant, it is natural to feel a range of emotions. There is no right or wrong way to react to such a life change. As you make your way to acceptance, you may go through several phases of grief.

The model of "five stages of grief" was developed by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross to describe how terminally ill individuals cope with illness and dying, rather than how people grieve.

This concept, however, has subsequently been used to describe how people who grieve feel as they come to terms with the death of a loved one or any other type of loss.

The Grief Stages

The grieving process typically consists of the following phases:

  • Denial

  • Anger

  • Bargaining

  • Depression

  • Acceptance


  • Denial

The mourning process usually begins with denial because denial is a frequent strategy for dealing with an uncomfortable situation.

Most people go through a "this isn't happening to me" stage in the immediate aftermath of a loss. This stage might last for many days or weeks.

This first stage of grief aims to keep you from grieving until your brain is ready to accept the painful reality.

  • Anger

Following the initial shock, you may become enraged with yourself, others, and life itself. You may also feel envious of those around you.

However, anger is frequently used to conceal other painful feelings, such as fear or guilt. Being enraged might sometimes be more bearable than feeling afraid or helpless. It's okay to feel this way, so don't be too self-judgmental.

  • Bargaining

This is a normal process that comes with the loss. You can try to postpone your grief by imagining the "what if" scenarios or buying more time. For example, you may try to strike a deal with God or the Universe, promising that if you live, you will exercise more, take care of yourself, etc.

  • Depression

Every loss leaves a void, and you may feel that a piece of yourself has been taken away. So, it is natural to feel depressed. In addition, you will eventually begin to come to terms with the loss. People usually feel sad when they accept the reality of loss. This means that you might be feeling helpless, hopeless, and lonely.

  • Acceptance

Finally, you will begin to turn to yourself and start thinking about how to go on. Accepting a final circumstance is a normal reaction that generally occurs at the end. However, the grief stages can happen in any sequence.

Grief Counseling: How Counseling Can Help Work Through Grief

Even while grief is a natural reaction to loss, many people struggle to manage it on their own.

Grief therapy can help you avoid complicated grief or major depression.

A qualified therapist can accompany you through your grief by being there and helping you connect with your feelings. The therapist can assist you in understanding how loss has affected your life. They can be there for you when you need it, giving you comfort and encouraging you to be more kind and understanding to yourself.

Complicated Grief

Counseling can help you manage complicated grief. Most people suffer extreme grief in the first six to twelve months after a loss. While pain eventually subsides, grieving may last longer than a year for some people. This is known as "complicated grief."

Complicated grief may affect mental and physical health and make it difficult to get through your daily routine.

For example, you may avoid social interactions, be less productive and satisfied at work, and feel exhausted most of the time. This is because the mourning process adds a significant amount of stress to your life.

According to research, chronic grief can result in fatigue, despair, anxiety, anger, and sleep issues. Also, grief can disrupt hormone function and the immune system, raising the risk of high blood pressure and heart problems.

Severe symptoms of complicated grief after the loss of a loved one may include:

  • Intense emotional pain

  • Overwhelming sadness

  • Constantly thinking of a loved one

  • Yearning for a loved one

  • Avoiding anything that reminds you of a deceased loved one

  • Isolation and loneliness

  • Withdrawal from friends and family

  • Lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy

  • Lack of desire to make plans for the future

  • Fatigue

Psychotherapy may provide a secure environment to build positive coping techniques and learn how to use them in everyday life. This can boost your resilience or ability to recover from adversity.

Grief or bereavement counseling can help you accept the reality of the loss, work through the pain, adjust to life without the loved one and move on.

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