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Mind Matters | Managing grief

Mind Matters | Managing grief

I’m in my early 40s and have recently lost someone very dear to me, a close family member. The grief has become this heavy, complex emotion that I find myself wrestling with daily sadness, anger, and an overwhelming sense of emptiness. Simple, everyday activities feel like monumental tasks, and there are moments when waves of sorrow hit me unexpectedly. What can I do to manage this pain?

Answered by Rishav Koirala, researcher and physiatrist

Grief is a complex and deeply personal experience, and the emotions you’re feeling whether it’s the weight of sadness, the intensity of anger, or the overwhelming sense of emptiness are entirely understandable. Facing such a significant loss in your early 40s adds another layer of complexity, as life transitions and responsibilities might already be demanding.

It’s crucial to recognize and embrace the spectrum of emotions that accompany grief. This multifaceted journey often involves navigating through different stages, and it’s entirely normal to feel a mix of emotions at various times. In your mourning process, seeking support is paramount. Whether you turn to friends, family, or a mental health professional, sharing your thoughts and feelings can be therapeutic. It creates a space for understanding and empathy, helping to alleviate some of the emotional burden.

Taking care of your well-being is a vital aspect of coping with grief. The toll that grief can take on your physical and mental health is substantial. Prioritize self-care by ensuring you get sufficient sleep, maintaining a balanced diet, and engaging in activities that bring you comfort or joy, even if they are small or simple.

Recognizing that grieving is a gradual process is important. There’s no set timeline for healing, and every person navigates this journey uniquely. Setting realistic expectations for yourself allows room for the ebb and flow of emotions. Establishing meaningful rituals or routines to honor the memory of your loved one can provide a sense of connection and continuity.

If the weight of grief becomes overwhelming, considering professional help is a valid and beneficial option. Therapists or counselors can offer specialized guidance tailored to your specific needs, providing coping strategies and emotional support. Additionally, joining support groups where individuals share similar experiences can be a source of comfort, understanding, and shared wisdom.

Remember that it’s entirely acceptable to mourn at your own pace, and seeking professional guidance doesn’t diminish your strength but rather enhances your ability to navigate through this challenging period. In your journey through grief, be patient with yourself, allow for moments of reflection, and embrace the support available to you as you work towards healing.


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