Expressing Your Grief
By Amanda Pasciucco, Marriage and Family Therapist
Grief. At some point in our lives, we will grieve. There are different ways to process the loss of a loved one. Grief is incredibly painful and many people do not know how to handle these periods of intense emotional feelings within their life. In the following, I will discuss the various ways in which I have seen people grieve a significant loss in their life.
When some people grieve, they immediately begin to get angry. They start to approach life with bitterness and thus they push people away from them. They refuse to smile or laugh at the memories. They begin to blame, whether it be blaming life, the doctors, or others. As an observer, you can tell that they are probably in emotional turmoil already. A tip for those going through this type of grief is to find help to process through the loss. If you want to try to get through it alone, it will be important to find some type of meaningful purpose within your own life to get through this difficult time. Whether it is religion, family, work, or some other support group, it is important to let people in and make meaningful connections during this difficult time.
Other people handle grief by denying the recent occurrence. You will notice this for people who grieve and find everything about the situation comical. People who are in denial will make jokes and laugh while they refuse to acknowledge that anything has happened. Eventually it will hit them when they are alone or by themselves. When you refuse to breakdown or let it out, it will eventually hit you. My advice to this category of people is to realize that you cannot free yourself from a problem or emotions by shutting your eyes to those feelings. To free yourself from a problem you have to face it head on.
Another way of approaching grief, which I believe is a relatively healthy way, is to ride the rollercoaster of emotions. One second you are acknowledging the sadness and loss of the person you care about. This could bring tears and anger. The next second you feel happy remembering the memories you have together. You could laugh. Each moment, you have no idea what your emotions will bring, but you acknowledge the process and continue to embrace each experience.
When dealing with grief, my advice is to laugh when you can laugh and to cry when you can cry. During difficult times such as grieving a person in your life, do not suppress any of your emotions. Let them come and experience them.