If you’ve recently lost someone or something, you may be going through the grieving process. Below, we explain what grief is and how long the grieving process can be expected to take. We also offer some tips on how to cope with loss.
What Is Grief?
The emotional pain that you feel after a loss is known as “grief.” Someone who’s grieving may feel a combination of shock, disbelief, sadness, anger, fear, and guilt, which can make it difficult to eat, sleep, and engage in other routine activities. It’s common for people to lose or gain weight, become sick, and feel achy.
Many people think of grief only in terms of the death of a loved one, but it can also occur when someone loses their:
- Health (their own health or a loved one’s health)
- Marriage, engagement, or dating relationship
- House or personal property
- Sense of safety (this often occurs after someone experiences a trauma)
Grief can be divided into numerous categories, including anticipatory grief, complicated grief, and disenfranchised grief.
How Long Does the Grieving Process Take?
There’s no easy answer to this question, as the grieving timeline varies from one person to another. Some individuals heal within weeks or months, while others continue grieving for years. Many people go through the five stages of grief—which include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—but it’s possible to heal without experiencing all (or any) of these stages.
How to Cope With Loss
Many people who are grieving a loss find it helpful to speak with a therapist. In addition to therapy, you may want to try:
- Talking to your loved ones
- Joining a bereavement support group or another type of support group
- Writing in a journal
- Turning to your faith (if you’re religious or spiritual)
- Eating a nutritious diet
- Participating in your regular hobbies
The Help You Need to Heal From Loss
If you’re having a difficult time coping with loss, you should consider speaking to a therapist who specializes in grief. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.