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9 Steps to Manage Grief & Loss

Updated: Feb 8, 2022

Have you experienced grief? Everyone at some point in their life experiences grief or loss of some kind, like some at a very young age loose their grandparents or parents or a sibling, but kids seem to deal with it much better than us adults.

And its not just the loss of a loved one we experience grief or loss it can also be when we get our heart broken as I myself have had my heart broken and I didn't really understand what was going on! My heart literally felt like it had broken, I couldn't stop crying, I couldn't eat anything, I felt sick and just was not myself for a few weeks but over time I did start to feel better.

So this is actually the meaning of grief and loss....

Grief is the natural reaction to loss. Grief is both a universal and a personal experience. Individual experiences of grief vary and are influenced by the nature of the loss. Some examples of loss include the death of a loved one, the ending of an important relationship, job loss, loss through theft or the loss of independence through disability.

Types Of Grief & Loss

> Death of a loved one (Family or friend)

> Still born/miscarriage

> Death of a pet

> Divorce or relationship breakup

> Health diagnosis (Cancer)

> A loved one’s serious illness

> Loss of a friendship

> Trauma

> Job loss

> Loss of financial stability

> Retirement

> Selling the family home

> Moving away from home

Their are many types of grief, some more intense than others but all the same it is a sense of grief or loss.

Now over the years I have had many losses, my friend Matthew (matt) my Nan & Grandad on my dads side, my Godparents Val & Ken, a client I cared for Lillian, my uncle Robert, my Nan on my mums side most recent and even more recently my step mums dad Jack.

My Nan and Grandad on my dads side I was very close to, especially my Nan. I visited them every weekend so when my Nan passed I found it extremely hard but was grateful I had my boys as they kept me busy and I think you need that to help with your grief. A year late my Grandad passed and if I'm honest he partly died from a broken heart as they had been together for most of their lives!

My other Nan my mums mum lost her long slow battle with dementia around 3 years ago and seeing my mum loose her mum was hard! I am an extremely empathetic human so I feel other pain, I get this gift from my mum. It can be very intense but I see it as a gift. This does make me fear my own mums death but I know that's not going to be for a very long time and when it does come to it I will have the tools and the know how to get through it.

Funerals are extremely sad events but are necessary in order for us to process our loss and say our goodbyes to that loved one. And then the wake is an opportunity for us to celebrate that loved ones life and share memories of them with others. Why is it we always see family members whom we haven't seen in years at a funeral? Its sad that someone dying brings the family together, other than that its a wedding but lets face it their ain't much of them going on, not more than funerals anyway!

Its hard to loose a loved one young or old, its quite surreal, you don't feel like its happening and so it takes time to sink in and for you to accept their just not coming back, all you have now is your memories of them to cherish.

When I think of the loved ones Iv lost I do still get upset to this day but the pain is not as bad as it was and I do feel certain family members are looking over me and I now find this quite comforting, some days it even makes me smile with a little tear in the eye.

Now its not just people we grieve for, its our fur babies too or any pet you have had for so many years! I actually balled my eyes out when our baby python Tyson died we didn't have him long but he came to us with an infection of some sort and passed away so suddenly! Poor little thing, we buried him in our garden.

We had many dogs and cats growing up and some were hard to loose coz their just part of the family you love them like their your brother or sister (when your a kid) or ya kids! They are their with you day in and day out for years and then all of a sudden their not. Its heartbreaking but I feel its not as heartbreaking as loosing a family member coz eventually people do go and get another cat or another dog.

Not to say their replacing the one they had lost but sometimes it helps, you can't do that with loved ones! Be a bit weird although they do say were meant to all have a double somewhere in the world and funny enough me dad and step-mum went away I think to Sri-Lanka, rung me up to see if I was at home coz they were convinced they just see me! lol! Crazy right but we won't get into that! Its weird enough people having the exact same name as you! And then theirs cloning but that would just be weird too!

Symptoms of Grief

These are the Emotional feelings your going to go through during the grieving process, in no particular order:

> Sadness

> Fear

> Anger

> Disbelief & Shock

> Guilt

Then you have Physical Symptoms you may experience:

  • Insomnia

  • Loss of appetite or emotional eating leading to weight issues

  • Nausea that don't seem to go

  • Body feels weak and aches

  • Fatigue

  • Low immune system making you prone to illness and infections

9 Steps to Managing Your Grief & Loss

Step 1 - Its OK to feel your pain so let yourself grieve naturally, don't fight it or avoid it or in many cases keep busy and tell yourself its not happening coz it will just put off the inevitable! You need to grieve its healthy for your mental health, maybe think about getting a journal to write down your feelings you may find this helps you deal with all your emotions and getting them out.

Step 2 - We all grieve in different ways and so your grieving process will be unique to you. Their is no right or wrong way to grieve so its OK to do whatever feels right to you. Don't let people tell you what you should or shouldn't be feeling and what you should or shouldn't be doing. You do you!

Step 3 - Everyone grieves at some point in their life, young and old just like iv mentioned above. You are not alone when grieving, although it can seem this way or you may want to hide yourself away but the best thing for you to do is speak to someone for support, especially someone that has been through what you are going through. They will understand and be fantastic support.

Step 4 - Some people find writing a letter to the loved one you have lost can help or letting go of a balloon dedicated to that loves one? Their are many ways to do this and can even become a yearly memorial event. Some people find this comforting and like they are keeping their loved ones memory alive. This may be for you it may not.

Step 5 - Keep yourself active! You need to look after yourself even if you go out for a walk, get out in nature or if its the gym you loved before you was hit with grief then get back down the gym, you may not feel like it now but you will feel better after.

Step 6 - Similar to journaling about your feeling in step 1 this is journaling about the positive happy memories you remember with a loved one you have lost, a pet, even the loss of a house or a divorce, you can apply this to any kind of loss. Maybe add some pictures in their too?

Step 7 - Help your loved ones to grieve which will also help you. Especially if you have kids that are grieving that need your support and listening ear, kids also like to ask questions so as difficult as it may be do not avoid answering these as it may lead to them being extremely confused and frustrated or even blaming themselves.

Step 8 - Prepare yourself for recurring grief, everyone and everything has a date, yearly event, or place that brings back memories of our grief. Recognising these grief triggers ahead of time will help you and those around you deal with it better. Maybe you would like to hold a yearly memorial event for your loved one like I mentioned in step 4 or a birthday celebration? Anything that feels right for you and your family.

Step 9 - Recognise the difference between grief and depression. Now you can experience similar symptoms with grief and depression but with grief you will start to get back into the swing of life sooner. If the lack of energy, loss of appetite, feeling low feelings do not start to subside then you may well be experiencing depression in which case you need to contact your GP for help and advice.

I would like to add on some tools that have helped me with my grief over the years......

A - Meditation is a fantastic practise to clear your mind, de-stress and become empowered giving you the confidence to take control of your life and your future. I would recommend guided meditations to start, you can even get meditations for grief.

B - Yoga is a great way to start your day and is a even better when partnered with meditation. Yoga is not only fantastic for your body but also your focus and it does this by making you focus on your breath throughout every yoga practice. You can find some amazing home based yoga videos on YouTube like this one that is for grief.

C - Daily Affirmations are extremely powerful when done consistently! Such as... "I am strong and can get through anything life throws at me". Or, "I am hurting right now but I know my loved one is free of pain and I will one day be reunited with them". Their are many to choose from or you can even make up your own personal affirmation but the idea is to look in the mirror daily and say your affirmation to yourself, have it written somewhere you can see it daily, have it as a screensaver, even write it down 50 times a day and in time you will attract whatever your affirmation says.

Our brain will believe anything we tell it if we tell it enough! This is why liars end up believing their own lies. Our minds are extraordinary and more powerful than we can imagine, their is still so much to learn about the human brain that's for sure!

D - Bereavement counsellor maybe the answer if you have tried everything and your still struggling? And don't think for a second it is a weak step to take, its actually the bravest step you can take and it maybe the best move you ever make! I would then advise you to invest in a life coach as most people feel a little lost as to the next steps to take in life so a life coach would be perfect for setting your goals for your future. FYI - watch this space as I'm training to be a life coach now! I'm so excited.

Life After Death - Yay Or Nay?

What a controversial question! So many people have their own opinions on this subject so I'm going to give you mine coz its my blog! lol! So I am a massive believer in spirits and the afterlife. I am very open minded and so quite a few years ago a friend was having a medium party. I had never been to one or had a medium reading so I was well up for it. Their was around 8 of us and what the medium does is goes around the room to whom ever he is drawn to and gives you a reading, channeling from your loved ones that come through!

Well I wish I had recorded it as some of what he says has not occurred yet but what he did say blew my mind! So my Nan and Grandad came through on my dads side telling me... "you really need to invest in a new bed coz the one you have is so squeaky", and then he asked me "was it you that shaved your intimate area?". I was so embarrassed! But quickly realised he was talking about my eldest son Kane as he had recently shaved "down there" and was now regretting it! He said so much more I actually felt connected to my Nan and Grandad again it was so comforting. They really are looking over me, but maybe their are somethings they shouldn't see! lol!

I do believe our souls live on when our bodies die, but where they live on I'm not sure? Is heaven really a real place? I would like to think so but I guess we will not truly know until we pass over ourselves. Then theirs the stories of our souls coming back in animal form. Again I'm not too sure about this either but if that's the case I wouldn't mind coming back as a fat furry spoilt house cat! Sounds fab to me!

One thing I'm sure of is our souls live on and their are many peoples amazing stories that confirm their is life on the other side but weather you wish to believe it or not is up to you.

Let me ask you... are you scared to die? Most people like myself are not generally scared to die but the one thing they are scared of is the loved ones they leave behind especially your kids. Now me and my family are very close and we actually live close to each other too. My brother lives further away but were close too were always on whatsapp coz we are in crypto together and investment.

Then we have past lives! I know I'm going a little bit far fetched here but roll with me... I have always wanted to have a past life regression session but iv not got their yet, trust me I will! You can find a hypnosis session on YouTube I found this one I'm gunna try out myself. Why don't you and let me know how you get on!

Were now coming to a close for this weeks blog post I hope you found it informative and helpful! Can I ask before you go, for you to please donate to one of these amazing charities or all of them if your feeling that generous? All these charities I hold close to my heart as I have been touched by them all.

Thank you so much its much appreciated! Every little helps right!

That’s all from me today, until next week...

Remember to Keep Smiling & Laugh a little Every day!

Your Mental Mum...

If you would like to join The Mental Mum Community were you can find support, helpful advice and learn something new, we would love to have you!

Ps, Share your grief & loss stories and experiences with us!

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