Monday, June 24, 2013


If you are one of the few people in this world who are fortunate enough to not have lost someone or something in your life, that you have not experienced grief from, you are in a very small percentage.

The majority of the world has experienced grief in one way or another.  Through the loss of a loved one, a traumatic experience that has taken a life too soon, the loss of a job, finances, a home.  The loss of a child or a pregnancy.  The loss of a parent or sibling.  Loss of health.  Retirement.  The loss of your family pet.  Loss of a relationship, friendship or marriage.  Loss of an era of time (ie: graduating college).  Loss of safety.

Grief, like most things, is a very unique experience for each person, but with many similarities at the same time.  Grief is a natural response to loss - the more significant the loss, the more intense the emotions and grieving will be.

How you grieve is dependant of factors, sometimes out of our control - coping skills, personality, your morals & values, what you're grieving over, WHO you're grieving over, how you manage your day to day coping skills.

You may have heard the old cliché "Time heals all wounds".  This is very true in the case of grief.  There is no "normal" grieving period, because as we mentioned, it's a highly unique experience for each person.  Some people could have closure within days, others it could take weeks or months, sometimes even years. 

You may have also heard about the "Stages of Grief". 

  • Denial "There is no way this is/has happening/ed"
  • Anger "I can't believe this happened!"
  • Bargaining "Please, make this not happen, and I promise I will.........."
  • Depression "I don't think I can deal with this"
  • Acceptance "Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise"
Not everyone will experience each stage.  Sometimes, people have been dealing with something for so long, that they are more emotionally and mentally prepared for the outcome of the loss.  Also, the stages of grief won't necessarily fall in order as stated above - there is no textbook cases, as there is no textbook case of loss.

What can grief feel like on your body and mind?  Many people use the word "numb".  That you're just in such disbelief that you don't really feel anything.

There can be feelings of guilt, sadness, anger, fear, and yes, even happiness (if someone has been sick for a very long time, and the loss of them has ended a period of suffering).  There can also be physical symtoms present with fatigue, loss of appetite or vice-versa (eating to cope), flu-like symptomes (aches & pains) nausea and more.

How can you get through a time of grief?  Support from your family, friends, co-workers can be a great place to start, as they are the ones who know you the best.  You can speak with a therapist or join a support group.  You can also turn to us here at the Distress Centre.  We take many calls from people who have suffered a loss either recently, or in the past that they are having a hard time coping with. 

If you need someone to talk to, we are here for you.  You don't have to go through this loss alone.  613-238-3311 anytime of day or night.

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