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Coping with your grief

Bereavement is something which most people experience at some time in their lives. Dealing with loss can be very distressing. Grieving is a natural process that can take place after any kind of loss. Grief is not an illness. You need not be alarmed by the feelings and symptoms that you have.

No one can tell you how to grieve
People react in their own way when they are grieving the loss of someone. Each person and relationship is special and unique. No one can tell you what you should be feeling or how you should behave. The important things is to allow yourself to feel and do what is right for you in your own time.

Take your time to make choices
The first reaction can include disbelief and confusion. Sometimes you may find it impossible to take in what has happened.Even if you were expecting the death, the moment you find out may come as a shock. This may leave you feeling unprepared and anxious. There will be some practical things to attend to and decisions to make. Some things do have to be done qucikly, but don't feel you have to rush into decisions if there is no need. Think about what you really want and take your time.You may find it helpful to talk to someone about practical issues. Don't enter into any financial or legal agreements unless you fully understand them and don't let others rush you into anything. Make sure you're ready!

Intense feelings are part of grieving
People often find that the first two or three months after someone has died are quite busy. There may be a lot of practical things to attend to. It can be after this period that the full impact of the loss may be felt. You may be surprised by the intensity of your feelings . You might think you're going mad. You may become forgetful. You might find it difficult to concentreate. You may experience a whole range of emotions including physical pain and great sadness,isolation,helplessness, anxiety and anger that the person has died.
You may blame yourself. You might feel that you have no opportunity to put things right and be forgiven. It is not uncommon to have feelings of relief that the person isdead and that the pain and suffering is over: then feel guilty about having those feelings. These are caring feelings and you are only human. It is impossible to get everything right.
Don't hide your feelings.Express them and talk to someone you trust. You may feel that you need to talk through your feelings repeatedly.

Grieving within a family
Your family and friends will also be experiencing grief which will be unique to them. It can be upsetting if one family member feels very angry. while another feels intense sadness and needs to cry. One person might need to talk about their feelings while another may want to say very little. Try to acknowledge these differences. Sharing your thoughts and feelings can lessen the loneliness and bring you closer together.

Include children
Generally,children do not understand the meaning of death until they are three or four years old. Children experience the passage of time differently from adults and can therefore appear to overcome grief quite quickly. However, children in their early school years may need reassuring that they are not responsible for the death of a close friend or relation.: They often blame themselves for one reason or another.
If you are caring for grieving children, then it is important to share your grief together.Even very young children experience grief and need to be given the opportunityt o express their feelings. You may want to protect your child from the pain of grief. But, as one mother said, 'it isn't a choice of whether she will hurt or not but whether I will know about it'.
Children often know more than adults realise. They need honest information to help them make sense of what has happened. If you're unsure about how to support your child then it may be helpful to talk to your GP.

Identify who will be supportive to you
During the coming weeks and months you will need help and support from others because it can be very hard to manage bereavemnet alone. This is not a sign of weakness. It takes courage and strength to ask for help. Many people find that their close family and friends are a tremendous help so do make sure you keep in touch with them.Even if they are grieving, they may want to be close to you and support you.
Don't forget to look after yourself physically. Try to eat well and get plenty of rest.
And get support!


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