Grief is a normal response to significant loss. This loss may be of a significant other, or of something else very important and meaningful to you such as your job, a relationship, or some aspect of your future.

Any serious setback is experienced as a loss and can lead to a deep sense of grief. Although there are various stages of grief, it’s not a straightforward process. You may move through many feelings such as bargaining, anger, depression and acceptance and then back to anger again, and this is normal, and naturally takes time.

For many reasons, it may be that the grief you are experiencing is particularly overwhelming, and you need someone to help you through it.

Also, sometimes people get stuck in grief because they cannot come to terms with what they have lost, and cannot see any way to do so. Or they are afraid that moving through grief somehow devalues the person or what they have lost. Therapy can help you understand why you can’t or don’t want to let go and help you see a way through your grief and back into life.

1. Acknowledge you are grieving.
This may seem obvious, but often people are unable to acknowledge that grief is a natural and reasonable response to loss. A necessary response. While some losses can never be accepted, we must come to terms with them if we are to go on with our lives. Take an attitude of kindness and compassion to yourself, you are grieving because you need to be, because you value who or what you have lost.

2. Talk to someone.
It is essential that you find someone you can trust to talk to about how you are feeling, about who or what you have lost, so you do not become stuck in your grief. Find a supportive friend or family member, a colleague or even a professional. Your grief needs to be articulated and validated. If there is no one you can talk to then telephone a helpline.

3. Stop blaming yourself.
Self-blame is often part of the first, bargaining stage of the grief process, and you can get stuck there, blaming yourself and making yourself feel worse over something that can’t be changed, and was not your fault. You must stop yourself going over and over what happened, punishing yourself with your thoughts. Let yourself have these thoughts once a day only, the same time each day, for a very limited time. Stop when the time is up, and outside that time, remind yourself of this appointment, and push the thoughts away. This may seem clinical, but you must stop punishing yourself. There is nothing to be gained from it, and this will help you stop.

Good Grief.  By Granger E. Westburg.  Small, very straightforward book on the basic stages of grief.
On Grief and Grieving. By Elisabeth Kubler Ross. World-renowned expert talks about grief and grieving and the stages of grief, full of personal anecdotes and warmth and understanding.
Elizabeth Kubler Ross Foundation. With resources and links in particular regarding the loss of a loved one.

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