Guest Author - Shirley McGillivray
As a society we understand so little about how people grieve. Every personís experience is unique and so everyone deals with it in a different way, which means that one solution is not going to work for every occasion and person.
The process of grieving cannot be rushed, but it does need to be dealt with or it will lead to other emotional issues months or even years later. Not everyone will want to talk or share their feelings, but there are some exercises that may help the process.
One of the best ways of dealing with grief is through writing. It doesnít matter how you write, or even what you write, as long as you are writing what is in your heart or head. No one else needs to ever see your writing, and quite often just getting it down on paper, or on the computer, is enough and it can then be destroyed or deleted. Donít worry about spelling or grammar; just write what is in your heart. You may cry as you write and this is perfectly normal as your emotions are bought to the surface.
If you donít know where to start, try writing a letter to the deceased person. Talk about how you miss them, what you enjoyed doing together; express your sadness or anger. There is no right or wrong, simply write what you feel.
Music therapy is a common release for those suffering from grief. If you play an instrument, it can be a release as you play the music that fits your mood. Again emotions are going to come to the surface and it is not unusual to feel very emotionally drained after such a session.
Playing music that was special to you both is another way to release those emotions as sitting back and listening can often trigger memories and emotions, both happy and sad, long forgotten.
Music that has no connections to your loved one can often help you to relax and give you some time to be quiet without any emotion. Grieving is a mentally exhausting time and having a way to just sit and relax can be very beneficial.
Creating art of any kind can also be another way to help with the grieving process. Sometimes concentrating on something different can take you away from the sadness, even for a short time, and give your mind some time to process your feelings and emotions in a more relaxed way.
If you paint or draw, letting your mind relax and your emotions take over can be a way to release some of the anger and pain. As with writing, there is no need for anyone else to see your work if that is what you prefer. Sometimes the end result is just too raw and emotional to show others, or even keep, and so you should either put it away for another time or destroy it. Either way, it is a beginning to help you express your emotions.
Sometimes it is helpful to do something connected with your loved one such as scrapbooking, perhaps making an album of some of your special times together. Again this can bring emotions that were buried to the surface, but you will often be left with a feeling of peace as you remember and commemorate the good times you had together.
Nothing is going to make your grieving any easier but sometimes these strategies can help you with the process of grieving and at the same time give you a little more peace as you remember and honour your loved one.