Grief and loss are normal parts of the human experience. Whilst it is often associated with losing a loved one, grief can also result from life changes such as losing a job, separation or moving away from friends and family, a relationship break-up, miscarriage, even children moving out of home. Some experiences of loss can involve less intense grief, but others can feel earth-shattering, like the ground has been pulled out from beneath you. In some cases you may feel like life will never be the same, your sense of self may be challenged, and you may not know how to think, feel or act now that this part of your life is gone*.
Whilst sometimes it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, most people move through a cycle before returning to normal functioning in their everyday life. This cycle may be different for everyone, but experiences like denial, frustration, and searching for meaning are all very normal, and with time, things will get easier.
Read more about the stages of grief here: https://grief.com/the-five-stages-of-grief/
These experiences of grief take time. Everyone has a different way to grieve, and many will express their grief quite differently: some like to open up about their experiences, some like to pour themselves into work, some like to distract themselves by keeping busy. Whatever your strategy, reaching out to friends and family can be very helpful. Having someone to talk to about how you are feeling, memories, or to help you figure out a new plan can be beneficial and reduce feelings of sadness or stress.
Remember to take care of yourself in the process. This emotional pain is stressful and tiring, so make sure you are eating well, exercising, and having a good night’s sleep. Focus on relaxation and self-care. Try to plan some positive activities that might bring you some joy, and don’t be afraid to ask for help and support, whether it be emotional, or even just help around the house with chores.
It can also be helpful to reach out to support groups, and you’ll find many online support groups or meet-ups for people who have similar experiences. If you could use some extra help, it’s good to talk to a professional, as they can help you through this difficult time.
*The experiences of sadness, insomnia, and sometimes weight loss can make grief resemble symptoms of depression, but these are not the same. Depression has a longer course, and involves a difficulty experiencing joy and strong feelings of emptiness.