Q+A: coping with loss and grief

Here, we share some common feelings, questions and answers related to bereavement, loss and grief.

Q: “I felt pebble-dashed by grief. There was no rhyme or reason to its movement; I could be bawling my eyes out and then ten minutes later, laughing at Six Feet Under on the telly. The adverts would come on and – bang – I’d be right back in the middle of intense loss again.”

A: This is a really common response; grief isn’t “well behaved” and it’s ok to experience lots of different, often uncomfortable emotions. Try to give yourself space to feel what you’re feeling.

Q: “I’m worried I’m not grieving the way other people do.”

A: There is no right or wrong way to grieve; children, teenagers and adults-everyone has their own way. It’s just worth keeping an eye on yourself. The grieving process canrun its course over weeks, months and years. If you feel like you’re stuck, really going under, or notice someone else struggling with day to day living, reach out to someoneor seek professional help. As a bereaved friend described: “I think there are stages of grief, but in my experience, they weren’t that clear….they overlapped.  The key thing about grief is, it’s not a linear process – it’s all over the place”.

Q: “I can’t seem to function sometimes. Am I going mad?”

A: This loss of focus is normal. We need to be gentle with ourselves as we experience a unique process that can feel chaotic and that has no set time-span.

Q: “Will I ever feel better?”

A: One person told me that after a year and a half, she thought, “I’m in the wrong life; but six months later I was as right as rain. All these clichés about, ‘taking one day at a time’ and ‘time being a healer’…they are actually true”. We grieve at our own pace and rhythm, gradually finding our own sense of balance and ease. So yes, one day you will feel better.

If you need one-to-one support see Counselling and Coaching for contact details.

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