LIFE SKILLS TO HANDLE BEREAVEMENT, LOSS AND GRIEF!
Firstly there is a difference between the symptoms of depression and grief.
The main one is that a person going through grief is able to be consoled, whereas someone in depression will find that nothing will lift the way they feel – they are unable to be consoled.
There are 5 stages of grief through loss:
As we can see ‘depression’ is one of the stages someone experiencing grief goes through, so it can be a ‘challenge’ differentiating between major depression and the depression we can suffer through loss.
The ‘loss’ can be due to bereavement through death, although often clients come to me because of a loss in a relationship. With the latter I ‘walk’ with them and give them skills to understand why they are feeling the way they are. They are then able to arrive at a point where they ‘let go’ and move on, having moved through acceptance and of course forgiveness.
With bereavement, people will take different lengths of time to work through each stage of grief. The order may not be the same as the one described here and in some cases, some steps may not be experienced at all. A number of people will express their feelings and cry while others will remain withdrawn. Whatever way someone chooses to grieve their loss, it’s important that we stay out of judging them, as everyone is different and grieving is a process that takes time.
With illness, particularly when a terminal illness is involved, there will also be a period of mourning – sometimes because there may be a particular aspect of our lives that is no longer available to us such as not being able to walk.
If we have someone we know who is experiencing grief, all we can do is ‘be there for them’ and support and comfort them in ways that work for them. If we are going through this situation ourselves, all we can do is to stay out of resisting how we are feeling, as this will prolong the healing process. And we can remember – ‘it’s okay to ask for help’.