Everyday life events that cause grief
Grief occurs when a person or pet we love dies, and something vital to us and close to our hearts ends.
When we experience the death of a loved one or the end of an important close relationship, we grieve over the immediate loss and the hopes and dreams attached to the loss.
Grieving is a natural response to heartbreak. Grief brings on emotions that range from dull aching sadness to intense and overwhelming sadness and despair. Grief also causes physical aches and pains. For example, you may feel a tightness or ache in your chest.
A grieving person may also experience anger, guilt, shame, resentment, and anxiety. It is imperative not to judge or shame yourself for opposing thoughts or feelings while grieving. Doing so will only add to your distress. Do your best to be kind and compassionate towards yourself during this difficult time.
Because of the intense and challenging emotions caused by grief, you may want to avoid them. Avoiding having to experience your feelings may look like keeping yourself extremely busy, using alcohol, drugs, or sex to escape, masking your real emotions, putting up a false persona for the world to see, or stuffing and bottling up your feelings.
When people avoid their feelings or try to numb themselves, they do so intending to protect themselves from experiencing the pain associated with their grief. What ends up happening is they disrupt the natural healing process, and avoidance strategies often cause more distress in the long run.
There isn't a designated time frame as to when the grieving process will end. Grief is often a lifelong process. Through healing and with time, the intensity of grief will decrease. When a new loss occurs, when the anniversary of a loss comes up, and during milestone life events, you may be reminded of past losses and find yourself needing to grieve again.
Your grief directly results from your capacity to care and love deeply. Your ability to genuinely invest in your relationships with those you care for and the parts of your life of great importance to you is a measure of your passionate humanity.
When you lose something you once held dear, it’s like your world has been turned upside down. Significant losses can feel devastating.
Our society isn't comfortable talking about death and other losses. This is especially true when a person's loved one dies tragically.
People often don't know what to say to a grieving person. They also tell me they don't want to intrude or upset the grieving person by asking to bring up the subject or talking about the loss. When the grieving person brings up the issue of their grief, the other person will often reply with well-intended phrases that are usually unhelpful, such as, "At least they are in a better place now."
Although friends and family have compassionate intentions, not talking to a person about their loss and not acknowledging their grief can cause them to feel alone or like they must hide their suffering from others.
Therapy offers a safe and supportive space to talk openly about your loss.
Therapy provides a non-judgmental and confidential setting, so you are free to express yourself as you need to.
As your therapist, I'll gently help you explore your thoughts and emotions related to your loss. I'll also teach you effective coping strategies that can be used to comfort you and help you through the most challenging moments.
You'll learn to view your grief as an aspect of your humanity and not something you need to feel ashamed about or fearful of. You'll also discover creative and meaningful ways to express your grief outside your therapy sessions.
I can't take your pain away, but I can support your healing journey.
We both know that nobody can magically remove your heartache, and I know that isn't what you expect. You can expect that you'll receive my therapeutic support and clinical expertise as my client.
Grief is a universal experience that all humans will go through at some point in their life.
Although we all go through grief, how a person grieves is always deeply personal and unique.
I'm no stranger to the grieving process. I, too, have had my world turned upside down in the blink of an eye. During the grieving process, I know the days can feel long, and the nights can be oh-so dark.
I'm here to tell you that you will get through this challenging and sorrowful time.
Malissa is available to provide therapy to residents in CA & WA by using a secure Telehealth platform (online therapy). If you are not a resident in CA or WA you can access one of Malissa's personal growth workshops.