Grief, though a natural and universal human emotion, can be intense and overwhelming, and it’s normal to have feelings like anger or sadness. It can be difficult to comprehend, especially for the first time.
Grief can be complicated by other factors, such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It’s also common for people who’ve experienced an unexpected death to experience significant trauma.
This type of trauma has been linked to substance abuse later on in life as well as suicide attempts (or completion). The United States government has set up resources for such situations, which can be accessed here.
There are many different types of grief interventions and techniques, including psychotherapy and other counseling methods, that can help alleviate the burden of grief.
Here we will explore some of these therapeutic interventions:
How To Deal With Grief
It is normal to grieve a loved one’s death. However, there are a few ways to help survivors cope with the overwhelming sense of loss and pain in the aftermath of losing a close family member, a friend, or a romantic partner.
Do Not Grieve Alone
Sharing your feelings with others is a therapeutic technique that can help you navigate through difficult emotions, such as anger or guilt. A support network can include family, friends, support groups, or a qualified psychiatrist.
In a support group, trauma and grief survivors usually share their individual stories with others undergoing the same journey of grief and healing.
Consult a Therapist
One may experience anger, guilt, denial, or resentment during this period; going to a grief counselor can help work through these difficult emotions in a safe environment.
In the wake of the school shooting in Texas in May 2022, there has been a situation of “collective grief” throughout the state.
The fact that it happened just two years after a pandemic that resulted in a million fatalities in the United States makes the effect more devastating for Texas residents.
In the case of school shootings, the scale of the tragedy causes a long-lasting impact on our minds. It is possible for survivors and those affected indirectly to get triggered adversely through media consumption, too.
Similarly, personal tragedies or setbacks in life can cause feelings of hopelessness and despair. It is important to find support and seek expert intervention if the feeling of grief persists.
If you are based in Texas, it is a good idea to find a therapist in Texas who can help in dealing with grief.
Therapists use established techniques to help one deal with grief and move on. CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is found to help people cope with their loss effectively.
Guided imagery and art therapy are two other tools used by therapists when treating those who are grieving over someone close to them who has passed away unexpectedly.
For pain and emotions that cannot be communicated verbally, art therapy helps in visual expression.
Create a Memorial With a Memory Box
A memory box usually contains photos, notes, and journals belonging to a loved one who has passed on. It is also common to include tickets to events attended and loved together and CDs/DVDs of memories recorded.
It aids in the remembrance of the dead and helps in the healing journey by kindling the happy memories shared. One can also create a scrapbook or an altar of remembrance in memory of a loved one.
Create a Mourning Ritual
To honor a loved one, one can perform a specific ritual like lighting a candle on a special day like a birthday or anniversary, planting a tree, or hosting a family memorial evening to talk about happier times. One can also consider donating to a hospital or care home.
Design a Grief Map
A grief map is like a road map for this complex and painful journey, which will be different for everyone because no two people grieve alike or at the same pace.
A good grief map includes your personal information and experiences with loss, including:
- What have you lost?
- How long ago did the death occur?
- Who was affected by the loss (you, family members, or friends)?
- How long it took to recover from losing a loved one?
One can use this to understand where in the grieving process one maybe instead of just guessing based on how long ago someone died or how much time has passed since their death.
In some cases, one finds it difficult to function even after trying mechanisms to cope and move on.
Such situations are called “complicated grief” and can often mirror symptoms of clinical depression—the same needs very specific treatment from a doctor or certified mental health professional.
In the end, it’s important to remember that grief is a normal and necessary part of life. In Texas, for instance, an estimated 1 in 16 children will see the death of a parent before the age of 18.
Such is the inevitability of death in our lives. However, the fact that you are reading this article means that the process of healing has already begun.
There are many different ways to grieve, and you need to look inwards to find what method works best.
Jean Smith is a fitness enthusiast and blogger who focuses on fitness and a healthy lifestyle. She is passionate about assisting people in living healthier lifestyles and is constantly on the lookout for new and creative methods to stay fit and healthy. Her articles are excellent resources for anyone interested in improving their health and fitness.