There is no right or wrong way to grieve, it’s an individual experience.
First session experience
Here’s what usually happens in the first session with a client.
I sit in my office waiting for a new client, they walk in with a terrified look on their face. I invite them to sit down. They drop heavily onto the couch, scanning the room, fixated on the floor. Then a massive intake of air, followed by a loud exhale. They bring themselves to finally find words. Their first words are usually, “I don’t know if I’m grieving the right way? Because my friends tell me that I need help”.
A bit about grief
As I always say, “Grief is a natural part of life and everyone has to experience some time in their life.”
It’s a natural response to loss, especially the death of a loved one or something significant in your life. It’s complex and unique to each person and changes your life forever. Remember it’s your own personal journey and there’s no predetermined timeline and it isn’t linear.
When you’re grieving your brain puts all the effort into assisting your body to stay alive. Things like breathing, making blood pump around your body, walking and doing the basic routine things that need to be done in your life.
It’s really difficult to ask for help because everyone has gone back to their own everyday life and forget to ask how you are or if you need help.
Here’s something you can do
Asking for help
Asking for help doesn’t’ come into the equation in the early days of grief. You’re numb and just getting out of bed is a mammoth effort.
Something you can do today is spend some time writing down a list of things you’re struggling to get done. Things like the laundry, ironing, shopping, playing with the kids and other routine things that are overwhelming you at the moment. Then give this list to a friend or family member who can arrange for those tasks to be done by other people.
You might find this challenging, however it saves you stressing over things that you’re not quite capable of doing just yet.
Stepping back into your life
Step back into life slowly and gently.
Start by taking care of yourself first so that you can take care of the rest of your family. Remember the aircraft safety announcement, “If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.” Because you need to be able to think clearly to perform your daily activities.
Your grief is unique to you. It’s a lonely journey because life goes on for others and you still miss your loved one for the rest of your life. This is natural.
Take care of yourself and step back into your life slowly.