Most of us have experienced grief at some points in our lives. You might have chosen to distance yourself from a close friend, lost a loved one, or cut ties with a former toxic partner. The challenge, however, is how to deal with grief.
The internal void left by someone who greatly influenced you as a person leaves a vague sense of continuity in our lives. Grief, perhaps one of the most complex emotions known to us, defines human existence.
We should choose to move forward by recognising this intense emotional experience and how it shapes our lives. Developing the knowhow to deal with grief in relationships is critical.
Accept how you’re feeling.
Grief affects us in unexpected ways. Bereavement, sadness and isolation may momentarily stop or prevent you from doing your everyday activities. Fixation on these troubling feelings and thoughts may be unavoidable for some time because of our innate need to undergo catharsis. One of the best ways to deal with grief in relationships is acceptance of the realities of life and the willingness to move forward to find happiness and fulfilment allows us to heal with time.
Find purpose and meaning
Grief, like a path that opens to a new door, is a reason to grow and mature as a wise individual. Most people believe that things do happen for a reason–and perhaps it is a universal fact of life. Like seeing a picture and attempting to derive meaning from it, we live to find a higher purpose in the things we do.
Allow your emotions to flow and pass.
Grieving is a complicated process of trying to accept reality as it is. Acknowledge this experience as a normal part of life, allowing yourself to process melancholy, or even anger and regret.
It’s okay not to be okay.
Let go of grief by grieving. We yearn for emotional release as a normal facet of our human psyche–and this is a valuable experience we all have to understand.
Reach out and serve others.
One of the best ways to heal is to serve others. It gives you a sense of purpose, channelling negative emotions towards positive and productive experiences and making a big difference in other people’s lives for the better.
Altruistic behaviour and generosity are often sublimated forms of existential grief for some people with a deep sense of empathy. Reaching out to others like volunteering and advocating for a great social cause, or by simply being a person to whom a friend runs for support, gives a sense of hope and purpose to people afflicted with grief.
Express and share your feelings.
Avoid compartmentalising your grief or isolating yourself from others. The weight of the world should not rest on your shoulders, or so they say. Share your feelings with your close family and friends to help you through a painful event or circumstance. Consider joining a support group, allowing you to freely communicate with individuals who are facing the same situation as you.
By letting others know what you’re dealing with, you’ll feel less alone, paving the way to healing. Alternatively, you can write in a personal journal, blog, or diary to have an extended ‘outlet’ to channel your feelings.
Oftentimes, people tend to neglect themselves when they undergo depressing situations. Remember to take care of yourself to speed the healing process of your soul. Spend time on soothing and calming activities like going for a brief hike, spending time with close friends, enjoying a hot bath, or listening to music.
Stick to your routine.
Grieving can affect your productivity even after allowing yourself sufficient time to process your intense emotions. By sticking to your established routines and daily activities, you will return to a cycle of normalcy, one day at a time.
Don’t cling to the idea of closure.
The idea of attaining closure prevents some people from accepting the realities of grief, mourning, or loss. Many people are mistaken that having emotional closure will absolve them of pain or regret.
A sense of completion or conclusion does not always accompany the beginning of a new chapter. Endings are not always known, nor announced beforehand, and this is the stark reality we have to accept. To deal with grief in relationships, we should focus on self-healing, instead of having to process our grief through the affirmation of someone who already left.
We hope you find these suggestions useful in how to deal with grief in relationships.