What are your experiences about talking about your loss or grief? Do people look at you with pity? Maybe they give you the “uh huh, mmm, wow” replies. Worse, they might even give you trite or hurtful advice or "help."
I know that for me after a while I realized that no one wants to talk to a Debbie Downer much less how I was really doing after my first husband and mother died. I learned to say, “I’m fine, and things are going as well as can be expected.” I wasn’t really fine; I was far from it but had no idea who to talk to or what to talk to.
Do you wish there was someone to talk to? Someone who got it and you? There are people out there to support you. Read on.
Did you know that talking about your loss and grief in an open and non-judgmental setting could be healthy and beneficial?
Some of the benefits of Talking About Your Grief?
- Lessens the intensity of the sadness, anger, and pain
- Improves your immune, heart/vascular, and nervous systems
- Some needed out-loud thinking that can lead to perspective
- Feeling of peace and stability that it’s OK and you are normal for having these feelings
- Venting and releasing stress around your grief
- Finding hope from others who may inspire or be helpful
- Finding support and understanding from others – possibly who’ve experienced a similar loss
- Learning coping skills and techniques from others
Tips for Whom To Talk To
Consider whom you want to talk to
- Others might not be ready or able to listen – ask first
- Talking to a trusted person, professional, mentor, coach, pastor, or spiritual guide can often result in great benefits.
- Learn to ask for what you need.
- Do you need them to: just to listen, no problem solving or judgment, maybe you DO want advice or problem solving, time to vent, someone to verify you are not losing your mind, or a shoulder to cry on, or someone bounce ideas off of, etc.
- Choose carefully and wisely – be sure you trust them and they are someone unrelated and involved in your loss.
- Don't go this alone. Get the support you need and want.
- If the first person you try doesn’t work out or match, keep looking. There is someone meant to support you out there in this great universe. Keep searching. Don’t give up.
Maybe you are someone who is thinking – I am no way comfortable talking about my loss at this time?
What can you do?
- Try journaling
- Writing can have similar benefits
- Painting, crafting, drawing or some other outlet for emotion
Want to learn more about talking about loss and grief, ready to talk, maybe just think about it, or are you a caregiver or friend? You have two opportunities.
- Jeni Elkins and I – Co founders of Torn in Half - A Resource for Young Widows will be talking about Grief in August. Come join us if you live in Indiana, Aug. 23 - 27. See our Presentations and Workshops site for details and locations: http://torninhalf.com/presentations-and-workshops/
- Want to talk to someone and not sure who? I partner with motivated people that have been knocked down by life changes and losses who want to become more resilient and move forward in life. I would love to be of support. Contact me to find out how.
Special Summer Educator Offer – 25% off Coaching for Educators Now Through September. Contact Teresa for more details.
Here’s to you talking and growing through loss and grief. Please share with anyone who may be interested or in need.
Peace, Love, & Blessings,
Teresa Bitner, PMP, M. Ed., ACC
Resiliency, Change, and Loss Specialist