Loss equals change which equals grief. This is a reality of life. We are constantly in flux and re-adjusting to new realities. How well we adjust to existing losses in our life will determine how well we move on through the gauntlet of life.
Losing someone we love is an especially difficult loss. The altering change can cause chaos in our life. We will be sad and this OK. Sadness and grief is a result of the loss and the importance of that loss to our life. If the loss meant nothing, then there would be no grief, but when we lose someone we love, our grief expresses their importance. In some ways it is a tribute to them and their value. While many grieve differently, all will experience some sort of discomfort in the grieving process and will attempt to cope in their own ways.
Grief Counselors can help people grieve in a healthy fashion through these initial months. The most important thing for family or Grief Counselors is to remind the grieving that their grief is healthy. It is not pathological to be sad. It is quite healthy and a normal reaction.
As the grief work and grieving patterns continue, individuals will also experience oscillations of emotions. What once was initially sharp high and lows, will eventually turn into broader and less disruptive patterns of emotion. There will be times of peace and then a return to sadness. This is quite normal. It allows the body and mind time to heal and also work out the grief.
Eventually, a form of adaption will occur where the griever can find solace and a return to routine activities. Yet does the grief ever leave? The answer is no. There will always be a sense of sadness over the loss because of the worth of the person lost. Certain memorials will be painful, such as birthdays and Christmas, but even those over time will become less intense as the griever learns to memorialize the loss.
Despite the sadness, the griever is able to function and also very importantly, be able to look back on the good times. In this way, the griever is able to take the past and incorporate the lost relationship into the present situation. The relationship while no longer physical becomes spiritual or emotional. Hence the narrative of relationship remains intact, but in a new and different way.
This is a healthy adaption over loss. It may take time, but grief counselors and family should be patient with the grieving. Many are too quick to assume one is experiencing complicated grief or needs professional help. Loss and grief are a part of life and people just need time to adjust to loss.
GC-C Academy of Grief Counseling