The pain that comes from the loss of a loved one cannot be adequately described by words. However, coping with that loss doesn’t have to be something one faces without a set of tools from a professional therapist.
There are some common frameworks for dealing with grief, such as DABDA – the 5 stages – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. This widely used method, developed in the late 1960s, has been augmented by more research into grief over the last 30 years.
Part of the healing is to acknowledge and accept all of the emotions that come with grief – not only more common ones like sadness, but also feelings of nostalgia, relief, guilt and many others (even the ones we may be embarrassed to feel or speak about).
Self-care & kindness to ourselves is important as each person heals from loss at a different pace, and experiences these emotions in different “waves”. It is not a linear progression and sometimes what one feels is actually a new emotion that needs to be understood and worked through. Because the feelings we experience during loss can seem overwhelming and permanent, seeking the guidance of a therapist may provide much needed structure, support and relief.