Grief is the emotional experience resulting from loss. When you first experience a loss, you may feel an initial state of shock, where you struggle with processing the emotions you are feeling and with integrating those emotions and thoughts into your here-and-now experience. You may have difficulty accepting the loss as real and might continue to “catch” yourself thinking of calling your loved one or expecting them to walk through the door. Events, holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, and familiar experiences can trigger deep emotional responses and pain for many years after the loss occurred. All these responses are “normal.” But remember: there is no “right” way to grieve.
Forget the so-called stages of grief. Because each relationship (attachment bond) is a unique, one-of-a-kind creation, made by two unique, one-of-a-kind individuals, the loss of that relationship produces a unique response in each individual. So, no one can tell you what you “should” be feeling or how you “should” cope with your grief. Your experience is your experience. How you feel is valid, personal, and real. Don’t compare your experience to others – others did not have your one-of-a-kind relationship. Instead, accept and honor your feelings as they unfold and allow their expression.
Surround yourself with those people in your life who are able to sit in silence with you and just be present, not feeling the need to “fix” what cannot be fixed or “make it better” for you, but who will remain with you through the process. And allow yourself to feel what you feel (or don’t feel), without trying to “contain” or “control” how you present yourself to those significant people who are there for you.