Guidance Through the Grieving Process
Grieving the loss of a loved one doesn’t end with the funeral. On the contrary, the funeral is only one of the first steps on the journey of grief. We understand that the journey can be long and difficult, which is why we offer grief support services through our partnership with Maximum Living Bereavement Aftercare Services.
Grieving isn’t something that just happens to you. Rather, it is an active process that requires your participation. As human beings, we seem to have the blueprints for healthy grieving encoded into our DNA. However, these signals get crossed with societal expectations of how we should grieve. As a result, we tend to embrace unhealthy techniques because they seem easier or more socially acceptable. Unfortunately, however, grieving in an unhealthy manner ultimately only causes you more pain and prolongs the grieving process.
Symptoms of Grief
It is important to note that grief does not follow predictable patterns. Everyone experiences it differently, and the physical and emotional symptoms you experience can vary, but all are normal. Though individual to each person, some symptoms seem to be more common than others.
Despite grief being an emotional process, it can sometimes manifest as physical symptoms as well. These include, but are not limited to:
- Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
- Aches and pains
You may find that your weight fluctuates while you are grieving. This can occur for many different reasons. Your immune system is sensitive to stress, and as a result, you may find that you have a lowered response, making you susceptible to infectious diseases.
Emotional symptoms of grief are similarly variable to physical symptoms but tend to follow observable patterns. The most common emotional response is a feeling of profound sadness. It is also common to experience shock and even denial, especially if the death was sudden. You may feel anger or guilt over the person’s death even if no one was to blame for it. The loss of a loved one, especially one you were particularly close to, can cause fear and anxiety, sometimes even causing panic attacks.
Healthy Responses to Grief
We offer you access to counseling through our funeral aftercare services. Working through the process with a professional can help you learn healthy coping skills and gain an unbiased perspective on your grief. Counseling is a useful tool, but there are other things you can do to help yourself along the grief journey.
One of the most important things you can while grieving is to give yourself sufficient time for it. An emotional wound is similar to a physical one in that it heals at its own pace. If you try to force the process to go beyond this, you will only do yourself further damage. So don’t impose arbitrary deadlines on your grieving, and don’t let anybody else try to convince you to “get over it” before you are ready.
It can be tempting to try to deny or ignore your feelings of grief, either because they are too painful or because you feel they may be signs of weakness. Emotions have nothing to do with weakness or strength, and ignoring them does not make them go away. On the contrary, it only causes them to intensify. Give yourself permission to feel whatever you are feeling. Take the time to sit down and acknowledge your emotions without judgment.
Another tempting but unhealthy response to grief is to isolate yourself from others. You may be ashamed for them to see you in a vulnerable emotional state, or you may worry that you are placing an unreasonable burden on loved ones by asking them to share your grief. However, sharing your emotions with someone close is a more effective way of working through them.
At Wujek Calcaterra & Sons, we are here for you during the grieving process. Contact us to find out more about our grief support services.