Everyone grieves diﬀerently, and that’s OK. Dealing with grief in a healthy manner can help you grow during life’s most diﬃcult moments.
You may have heard of the ﬁve stages of grief, which were popularized by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying. The stages featured in the book are denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
Experts debate whether grief can be organized cleanly into such stages, but it’s widely accepted that everyone experiences grief diﬀerently. Knowing how to traverse grief can help you stay healthy and grow as you deal with personal tragedy or change.
Lost and Found
Grief is a natural response to loss. Whether you’ve lost a friend, pet, family member, job or other important part of your life, it’s important to let yourself grieve. This means you should allow yourself to feel emotions such as sadness, anger, frustration or even numbness. As time goes on, these emotions should lessen in intensity.
However, it’s also important not to let grief control your life. Take care of yourself by eating healthy, staying physically active and getting enough sleep at night. Talk to others, share your feelings, and see a mental health professional or join a support group if you feel like you need help. Grief can last for months or longer, but knowing that you’re not alone can prevent you from developing long-term depression and other behavioral health issues.
How to Help Someone who is Grieving
Helping someone who is grieving can feel daunting, but everyone needs support when going through diﬃcult times. Here’s some advice for helping a person through the grieving process:
- Be a good listener. People who are grieving may not need advice or suggestions about how to get over their loss. Just listening to them is enough.
- Check in on anniversaries and other important dates, since they can be diﬃcult for people who are grieving.
- Spend time with the person, even if you don’t have much to say.
- Offer to help with tasks or chores when you can. Make sure your oﬀers are speciﬁc, such as helping to prepare a meal or do grocery shopping.
Paul B. Hall Medical Group offers behavioral health services close to home. Greg Horn, APRN is accepting new patients of all ages. He offers in-office as well as Telehealth visits from the comfort of your own home. To schedule an appointment, call 606-789-3188.
Sources apa.org, cancer.org, cancer.org, ekrfoundation.org, ekrfoundation.org, familydoctor.org, medlineplus.gov, medlineplus.gov, newsinhealth.nih.gov, scirp.org, suicidepreventionlifeline.org