“Weep if you must, parting is hell.
But life goes on, so sing as well.”
Grief, one of the most difficult emotions that we experience. Whether it is losing a loved one, health, money or breakups, grief leads to at least some disruption in our normal routine. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross describes that we go through 5 different stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Everyone has different ways to deal with it. Let’s have a look at some of the common ways people grieve.
1. Crying it out
Crying is therapeutic and only a natural response to a sad situation.The cathartic effect of a good cry shouldn't be overlooked. Research confirms that crying leads to an improved mood later.. As Tennyson, Victorian-era poet said, "She must weep or she will die."
2. Finding meaning in sorrow
Ever heard of post-traumatic growth? It is the transformation followed by a traumatic event such as death of a loved one, disease or financial crisis. To quote Viktor Frankl, survivor of Holocaust and auther of ‘Man’s Seach for Meaning’, “If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an eradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death, human life cannot be complete.”
3. Reminiscing the good ol’ memories.
If someone is grieving the loss of a loved one, they might want to reflect back to the best time they had with them. Although this may help them to cope for a while, after sometime, it can lead to reduced productivity and mindfulness. If it is helping, allot a time for thinking about the person or the memories.
4. Joining a support group/bereavement group
Social support is one of the biggest buffer systems in our lives. Reaching out to someone who is dealing with a similar situation can be extremely helpful. Sadness can make one feel lonely and it is important to seek our social support.
5. Attending to work
At times, people might engage in work or chores when dealing with grief as it helps them feel a sense of control over life. They may find solace in doing everyday things like laundry, doing the dishes, cleaning. At times, some people might start using work as a way of avoiding instead of addressing overwhelming emotions, which might do them more harm than good in the long run.
6. Talking to friends
Talking to friends or colleagues helps to experience the emotional catharsis, leading to an improved mood. If it gets overwhelming or sad, one shouldn’t shy away from talking to friends about the memories, your feelings.
7. Talking to a therapist or grief counselor
At times when nothing works out, people seek professional help to cope with the loss. A grief counselor is someone who specialises in helping manage with the physical, psychological, spiritual and emotional response to the loss.
Understanding grief is one thing and being able to understand the way you process it, is another. Sometimes we do not know our feelings enough to cope with them. Equipping yourself with certain tools can help you make this processes an easier one. “What tools?”, you may ask. Join our workshop on Psychology Life Hacks to find an answer to this question and so much more!
Samreet Kaur Athwal,
BA (Honors in Psychology)