I have a lot people in my life die, including family. Whenever there is a death in the family, or when a friend has died, I do not talk to anyone about my feelings. I keep it all inside. Everyone comes to me and I become their rock. I do not have a rock, someone to lean on. Last night it became very clear that a close friend of mine is feeling overwhelmed with grief. I am not an expert on grief, I am speaking from my own personal experiences with grief.
What Grief Is Like When You Bottle it Up…
Grief sneaks up on you and it hits you hard. The thing with grief is that you will start to feel like you have way too much on your mind. You might not even have a lot on your mind but grief can you feel like you do. Grief may even make you thinking that you’re just stressed out. That is how grief starts. This is the first stage.
Then you will tart to feel like simple things are extremely difficult. I personally feel that this is main reason that perfectly good relationships with your boyfriend or girlfriend end. When he or she reaches out to the other person, the person who is grieving feels that the relationship is too difficult which results in the person who is grieving to end the relationship. The person who is grieving feel that by ending the relationship that it is one less stress he or she may have. This creates regret when the other person is done grieving and/or is ready to talk about his or grief because the relationship is over. Now he or she has the possible stress of trying to win his or her ex back. That is of course he or she wants their ex back. That is the second stage.
Lastely, the person who is grieving will feel like they are losing control. This is where grief is coming to the surface. For people who bottle it up, they will experience this when the bottle is overflowing and he or she is trying to put it all back in the bottle as well as trying to keep it all inside. It is a fight that he or she feels is losing. It is fight he or she is trying to regain control of. This is where he or she is fully consumed in his or her grief. That is the third and final stage.
What You Can do to Help…
1) Give the person grieving his or her space. That is very important to him or her as he or she tries to work out as well as work through the emotions, the grief he or she is experiencing.
2) Keep the door open. Let him or her know that whenever they are ready, you are there to listen. Also, let him or her know that you will always be there.
3) Check in once or twice a week. Ask how he or she is holding up. Gently remind him or her of being there when he or she is ready to talk and if he or she needs anything not to hesitate to ask you.
4) Patience is key. Do not force him or her to talk. Be patient.
These are small comforts that make a major impact. For me, it makes me feel safe knowing that if I need help, if I can’t work through it on my own, I have someone who is there for me. Never stop being there for those whom you care about. Grief has a way of just sneaking up on you, making some days harder than others. Grief never goes away. It only becomes easier to live with as time goes on.