Is There a “Right” Way to Grieve?

When we lose someone important to us, we all grieve. We’ve been conditioned to think there are set “stages” of grief, when in fact that model was created in reference to people facing their own mortality. The truth is, there are no right or wrong ways to experience grief because it is so personal.

  • The emotions outlined in the “stages” model of grief can still be valid. Many people do experience denial, anger, bargaining and depression before moving on to acceptance. However, people also experience other emotions such as anxiety, hopelessness and None of these feelings are “wrong.”
  • Some people are able to channel their grief into artistic expression or productivity. It’s helpful for these people to have something to do. They may resist the idea of taking time off work. They may throw themselves into a cause that honors the life of their loved one. Sometimes, writing down feelings is a great way to work through grief. For others, art therapy is very useful.
  • Let yourself grieve in your own way. Feel whatever you’re feeling, and ignore others who try to define what those feelings should be. You are unique, as was the relationship you had with the person who has died. Honor that relationship by grieving in whatever way makes sense to you.
  • Don’t try to rush through grief. When your loved one dies, it may be helpful to make time to sit quietly with the body before the funeral. Don’t expect yourself to bounce back quickly. Give yourself all the time you need to adjust to your new reality. And try to remember that you don’t need to immediately purge the closet or give away your loved one’s belongings right away.
  • Take care of yourself. It’s easy to neglect self-care during this stressful time, but it’s important that you don’t. Get enough rest and maintain a healthy diet. Be as patient and gentle with yourself as you would with a grieving loved one. Find someone to talk to, whether it’s a friend, a family member or a counselor. When holidays and other special dates approach, take time to prepare yourself, making a plan for observing these days in a way that’s right for you. Allow yourself the time and space to grieve.

Every life is unique, and every grief is unique. At Greenwood, we’ve been caring for grieving people in our community for more than 100 years. We’ve built a reputation of sincerity and compassion because we’re committed to providing exceptional service with sensitivity and integrity. Let us help you honor your loved one in a way that respects their uniqueness and helps you begin to heal. Call us today at (619) 450-1479 to learn all that we have to offer.

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