Loss occurs when we lose something of value to us. This is generally seen as losing people who are close to us but can also refer to losing anything of significance to us. After many losses, they start to add one on top of the other and becomes what is called complicated grief.
The result of complicated grief is seen in some or all the following.
A sense of sadness that never seems to stop
Feeling gloom, doom and hopelessness about life
Irritability and quick to anger
Problems with sleep
Withdrawing from social interactions and things that you used to like
denying there’s anything wrong and becoming defensive when asked what’s wrong
distracted at work and home and not taking an interest in others
the worsening of any pre-existing depression anxiety or substance abuse
engaging in behaviour that appears to be impulsive, reckless and self-destructive
any talk of suicide or engaging in suicide attempts
The current medical crises in the world has seen many people suffer loss in numerous areas of life such as
Loss of a loved one
Loss of job
Loss of relationship
Loss of friend
Loss of business
Loss of freedom
Loss of identity
Loss of a pet
Loss of house/home
Loss of contact with family
Loss of respect
Loss of our usual way of life
Any loss which is significant to us will put us in the grief process of denial, bargaining, depression, anger and finally acceptance. What if you have multiple instances of the grief process running simultaneously and none of them has reached a resolution?
While the ideal way to cope with grief is to express those emotions that come with the loss, it’s also prevalent to avoid these emotions and suppress the grief process. The result is complicated or accumulative grief.
This type of grief is very overpowering leads you to believe that life is crumbling around you. Over time this cumulative effect will break you.
Coping with Complicated Grief
Each loss needs to be dealt with individually. Trying to deal with multiple losses as a whole will overwhelming, and your attempts to do so will lack the clarity required.
List each loss on paper.
For each loss list how, you felt about the loss and the subsequent effect of the loss.
Note what thoughts and feels are coming up and write them down
This process can bring on depression or anger or both. These emotions are part of the grieving process
Through being aware of what is happening internally, you can realise and label strong emotions for what they are and realise that they are always changing in intensity. Through recognising, experiencing and accepting the feelings as a normal part of the grieving process, they will over time diminish.
Find people who will accept how you are feeling about your loss and talk to them about how you are going through. This is all part of safely expressing emotion.
The temptation will always be there not to talk to others as you are worried that they will dismiss your feelings. So choose those that you confide in carefully.
Seek Professional Help
As loss overwhelms us, it can be challenging to find the way through by yourself. Trying to work out what you should do and how to cope with life while everything seems chaotic is overwhelming in itself.
Grief counselling offers you a way to share your grief with someone who is not all directly impacted by the loss—somebody who will listen compassionately. Through sharing your pain in a safe, supportive atmosphere, the counsellor will assist you in identifying, experiencing and finding strategies to resolve, manage and move through this time of pain at a comfortable pace which you will set.
You’ll be amazed how counselling can help you process grief
We offer a 15-minute complimentary phone session with one of our experienced grief counsellors. Find out how we can help you in the midst of your grief.