Hope Is All Around: How Constant Connection Through Online Grief Support Can Help You Persevere With Your Loss
By: Patricia Oelze
Updated March 19, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Lauren Fawley
How do you know if an online grief support is best for you? Everyone will suffer great loss eventually. There are different types of losses, all capable of burning scarring memories into our mind. That moment when you realize someone you've known or loved is gone, and those days, weeks, or months following can be traumatizing and can cause severe depression. Grief is a natural and normal response to loss, not only due to death of a loved one, but due to other types of major changes too (such as divorce). We do not always have the tools we need to be able to process grief and move forward on our own. We also do not feel like we need to grieve alone.
Why Does It Hurt?
The experience of loss is different to each person, but the news of a death, anyone's death, can cause a peculiar effect on the brain, and the body. Essentially, when you begin to come to terms with a loss, you are preparing yourself for your life without those who have passed.
It is like a string between you and your loved one has been cut, but the connection was so significant and, in some ways, you relied on it. Your mind and body are now recovering from this lost connection. Usually, we have business with the person who is gone that feels unfinished, and we do not know how to go about dealing with the feelings associated with the finality of them not being there to say all the things we need to say.
John James and Russel Friedman define grief as "the normal and natural reaction to a major change in daily routines". Grief can feel abnormal because it is such a strong emotion that can be debilitating, but in fact, all people experience grief in relation to losses.
For a while, you may become lost yourself as you try to get back to your regular routine, though everything seems completely different now. Your routine has changed due to what you have lost. You feel a dramatic dip in your mood and interacting with others becomes a serious challenge. As you withdraw yourself from socialization, you disconnect from the other supports in your life, leaving you more distressed than you were before.
There can be many reasons why people tend to isolate themselves through the grieving process. It could you feel like there is no one around who can relate to what you are feeling or experiencing or that no one can make you feel better. It may be that you may have learned some unhelpful myths about how to deal with grief and feel like you have to stick to some coping methods that really aren't helping. You might feel the pressure from other people to cheer up, be positive, or not talk about you loss when that is what you really need to do. People have good intentions when it comes to wanting someone to feel better, but often the suggestions given to you by others may ring hollow or feel unnatural.
How Can Online Grief Support Help?
If you are suffering from feelings related to loss, you many want to consider online grief support such as through BetterHelp, which is the #1 online counseling website that offers such as service. BetterHelp can provide you with a questionnaire specifically directed towards your difficulties in the grieving process. From this questionnaire, you can be matched with a licensed professional therapist who specializes in helping grievers recover.
By speaking to someone who understands what you are experiencing, you many feel some relief from not having to carry all the burdens of your hurt privately. Not only will you be able to express your grief in a healthy environment with a sympathetic and understanding individual, you can learn tools that can help you recover from grief in a healthy manner.
What Recovery From Grief Can Look Like
It is important during times of grief to remain connected with everyone else in your life who can supporting you through your dark periods. It is also important for you to accept your feelings and thoughts about your lost loved one or whatever has contributed to your grief as natural. Sessions with a BetterHelp counselor will guide you to use what you have learned from your relationship with the person who is gone to make the relationships with the people in your life all the more rich and satisfying.
Through doing grief recovery work, you may find yourself enjoying and appreciating the people and the small moments of your life more, as you connect to people and to the moments of your life in an intentional way.
You may find that memories of the loved ones you have lost still hurt sometimes, but that also you can remember the times in your relationship or the things about them with laughter and joy again also. When you grieve someone, you are not saying good-bye to them and the memories you created together, you are saying good-bye to the pain of their absence. You are also saying good-bye to any of the hurts from your relationship that you feel you did not get to repair. Sometimes, we feel like there are things, even apologies that we never got to say to someone. Other times, we did not get to hear our loved one say things that were very important for us to hear. These two circumstances can be true related to the same person who has died or left.
It could be that some of the ways that you are trying to handle loss-related feelings could be causing problems in your life, such as using drugs, alcohol, or both, to try to numb out for a while. It is common to rely on some unhealthy behaviors that temporarily distract or relieve pain, but you have probably found that those methods aren't doing much to make your pain better in the longer term.
It can be important to mark the end of your relationship with someone who is no longer available to you in a meaningful or ceremonial manner. This is sometimes accomplished with funeral and memorial services, but often, there are still matters that feel unfinished or feelings related to deep issues with that person that you have to deal with when the reality they are gone begins to set in. Working with a counselor can help you to figure out how you need to handle that in a personal way.
A counselor can also help you to identify if you are having a reaction to grief that is more complicated and severe than the normal process of grieving. If your grief has gone on for a very prolonged period of time or has resulted in an inability to function well in important areas of your life, it may need to be addressed in a different way.
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