What you may expect as you move through grief
These are the expectations you will go through with your grief, there are many, please contact your bereavement counsellor if you need support .....
Your grief will take longer than most people, including yourself, think.
Your grief will take more energy than you would have ever imagined.
Your grief will involve many changes and be continually developing.
Your grief will show itself in all spheres of your life: physical, psychological and social.
Your grief will depend upon how you perceive the loss. The intensity of your grief will be equal to the depth of your relationship.
You will grieve for many things both symbolic and tangible, not just the death alone.
You will grieve for what you have lost already and what you have lost for the future.
Your grief will entail mourning not only for the actual person you lost but also for all the hopes, dreams and unfulfilled expectations you held for that person, and for needs that will go unmet because of the death.
Your grief will involve a wide variety of feelings and reactions, not solely those that are generally thought of as grief, such as depression and sadness.
Your grief will resurrect old feelings and issues.
You will have some identity confusion as a result of this major loss and the fact that you are experiencing reactions that may be quite different.
You may have a combination of anger and depression, such as irritability, frustration, annoyance or intolerance.
You will some anger and guilt or at least some manifestations of these emotions.
You may have lack of self-esteem.
You may experience grief spasms, acute upsurges of grief, that occur suddenly with no warning.
You will have trouble thinking (memory, organization and intellectual processing)and making decisions.
You may feel like you are going crazy.
You may be obsessed with the death and preoccupied with the deceased.
You may begin a search for meaning and may question your religion/philosophy of life.
You may find yourself acting socially in ways that are different from before.
You may find yourself having a number of physical reactions.
You may find that there are certain dates, events and stimuli that bring upsurges in grief.
Society will have unrealistic expectations about your mourning and may respond inappropriately to you.
Certain experiences later in life may resurrect intense grief for you temporarily.
Most of us are unprepared for the overwhelming emotions that kick in when we suffer a major loss.
Bereaved people suffer greatly when relationships are altered. Life WILL never be the same.
Replacement relationships when the bereaved becomes attached to a person who is seen unconsciously to be taking the place of the deceased. The chosen one is valued only because of similarity and when the different attributes start to appear there is rejection.
Self-destructive relationships when the bereaved believes subconsciously they are guilty in any way down to the smallest detail. This is a very difficult area of therapy for the bereaved.
Avoidant relationships when the bereaved refuses to place himself/herself in a situation where they may feel pain again, even applies to joining clubs and fearing rejection.
Compulsive care-giving relationships when the bereaved may feel they need to care or help a dependent of any dependency, again the subconscious has not caught up with the loss therefore compelling the griever to care for someone/something.
Treatment/care of the conscious mind is paramount and so the subconscious is neglected and grief is sometimes not resolved and interferes later in all spheres.
We are unrealistic with ourselves and rarely receive the right support from our social group and family, especially if the way in which the death occured doesn't fit their expectations.
Support will come from areas where it is beneficial to the supporter, from group areas but when the group has dispersed the singular has nothing to say, from work areas only if a colleague/s has a similar loss, from family for only a short period and encompassing all areas is the disturbing attitude "get on with it".
Therefore in later months the griever may feel uncomfortable because of non comformity in society.
Sometimes people delay grief subconsciously because they don't want to face but it will reappear. Sometimes as physical ailments or when another loss is suffered.