At some point in our lives, every single one of us will experience grief. It’s one of those things we put to the back of our mind until we’re actually going through it.
Losing a loved one is incredibly difficult and the hard thing about grief is that everyone experiences it in a different way. It is said that there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. However, these are not merely stops on a linear timeline. Some take longer than others to experience all five stages and some go through each stage in a different order. It’s important to know that there is no correct way to grieve.
Not only is grief extremely difficult for the person going through it, it can be tough for those close to the person. With that in mind, here are 3 different ways that grief can affect your relationships with others.
When you’re in the throes of grief, it can be easy to push people away. You may feel like no one can help you. Those around you often don’t know how to help and because they don’t know what to do, they back away. It’s also tempting to put on a brave face and tell everyone that you’re fine even when you’re not. If people think you’re fine, they’ll be more inclined to leave you be. This can leave you feeling pretty isolated with your grief which can make things worse. To stop this from happening, try and appreciate and use those around you. If you need help – ask for it. There may be very little anyone can do save from popping round for a cup of tea or making you a casserole. But every little helps and by letting people know you appreciate whatever they’re doing, however small it is, it can stop you from feeling so isolated.
Growing closer to your partner
It’s common for those experiencing grief to turn to their partner or close friend or family member for support. It’s helpful to have a supportive partner during your time of need and it’s common for partners to grow closer when one of them is grieving. A symptom of grief can be a strengthening of your relationship as you unite against the loss of a loved one. It can be easy to grow too dependent on your significant other however which isn’t ideal as it can put a strain on your relationship. Try and keep this as a temporary situation.
It’s easy to assume that everyone should grieve the same way. But as we mentioned at the start of the post, there is no correct way to process your emotions. Some will fall apart, cry and sink into depression, whilst others will keep their emotions inside and appear “strong.” The mistake to make is thinking that someone else should be feeling the exact same way you are. If they’re not, it can cause conflict. Some people also work through the stages of grief more quickly than others. When this happens to two people in a relationship, it can feel like a betrayal. “How can they have moved on already?” is a common thought one person has in a relationship. But you can’t think like that. It’s important that both parties are allowed to grieve in the way they want.
If you’re experiencing grief after the loss of a loved one it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Whether you turn to friends, family or your partner, attend a support group or want to speak to a psychic, there are so many options available to you. Meditation & healing practices can also help you through this difficult time.