Different Ways of Grieving
Grieving is a personal and highly individual experience. How you grieve depends on many factors, including your personality and coping style, your life experience, your chosen faith or spirituality, and the nature of the loss. Some people find their way through a day by keeping active, as a way to shut out the pain by focusing on something else. Others are so immobilized by the sadness that they find themselves frozen, unable to cope with even the smallest of tasks. This can be particularly difficult in the case of a couple who has suffered a suicide loss and are both grieving differently, each unable to relate or understand the other's grief process.
Grieving is also hard work. One hour of intense grieving can be the same as eight hours of physical labour. This can explain why those who are grieving are also dealing with exhaustion. The grieving process takes time. Healing happens gradually; it can’t be forced or hurried – and there is no “normal” timetable for grieving. Some people start to feel better in weeks or months. For others, the grieving process is measured in years. Whatever your grief experience, it’s important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold.
Grief is a Roller Coaster, not a Series of Stages.
It is best not to think of grief as a series of stages. Rather, we might think of the grieving process as a roller coaster, full of ups and downs, highs and lows. Like many roller coasters, the ride tends to be rougher in the beginning, the lows may be deeper and longer. The difficult periods should become less intense and shorter as time goes by, but it takes time to work through a loss. Even years after a loss, especially at special events such as a family wedding or the birth of a child, we may still experience a strong sense of grief.