3. Our mind will reprioritise grief
"I often share with my clients that the actual grief doesn't change, which can be a scary thought," says Andy Garland. "What does change is the life and experiences that surround and grow after grieving begins. This means that our mind establishes a new priority for dealing with the trauma and grief. "It's a little like automated mindfulness - our thoughts are directed to the most immediate and current experience. So, we get to choose our thoughts and feelings whilst honouring the grief from a more healthy perspective."
4. Feelings often don't fade
"The idea that we must 'get over' our grief still prevails for many people," says Sara. "But a grieving parent won't stop loving their child simply because they have died. Love lives on. "And sometimes other less positive feelings, such as anger and hurt can also remain."
5. Grief can get worse before it gets better
"When someone first dies, we will feel shocked - even if the death has been anticipated, after a long illness for example," explains Sara. "Death is always shocking and shock has its uses. It protects us from the worst of our pain. It allows us to do what we need to do in the immediate aftermath of a bereavement. Gradually shock begins to wear off and then our pain can feel as if it's getting worse. "What's really happening is that we are increasingly more aware of the full extent of our feelings which is why it can feel like things are getting worse."
6. Grieving looks different to different cultures
"It's important to realise that how someone responds to grief may be informed by their cultural and religious beliefs," says psychotherapist Bhavna Raithatha. "In some cultures, there will be clear periods of mourning either before or after their loved one has been laid to rest or cremated. "There will be rituals with prescribed dress codes and a limiting or stopping of certain social activities such as going out, attending parties or weddings or any form of celebration during the mourning period.
"In other cultures, there is clear frowning on displays of emotions and the whole process of death is sanitised and dealt with formally. The important thing to remember is that how we respond to grief is a very personal matter regardless of customs and rules and people should deal with grief in whatever way feels appropriate as long as they are not at risk of harm to themselves or others."
7. Tea can help!
"Crying makes you dehydrated. So sometimes a nice cup of tea can be genuinely helpful," adds Sara.
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