Being kind to yourself during bereavement.
One of the main things I have learnt from listening to attendees of the It’s Worth Talking About peer support groups is that we must try to be kind to ourselves during the grieving process.
Grief is a unique, individual and unpredictable process. Whilst peer support and talking enables us to learn from others experiences, we must not compare our feelings and emotions to others.
Person by person grief is different based on the context of its importance. Whilst being kind to ourselves is essential, it is not a prescription that will cure you. It is more of a mechanism to get you through what is often a lifelong process.
Many of people I’ve met struggled with being compassionate to themselves, often beating themselves up emotionally, mentally and sometimes physically because they’ve tried to ‘be strong’. Hiding any emotion, refusing help, trying to ‘move on’ and not allowing sufficient time to adequately heal.
Being able to accept the variety of emotions, ask for help and give yourself time are important parts of the self-care grieving process. Yet so many people hold the typically British ‘firm upper lip’ and ‘carry on regardless’.
Being kind to yourself, just doing what you can day by day is enough. You don’t need to rush it and you don’t need to forget the bereaved just because they are no longer here. Embrace them like they are if you need to, speak about them, even to them and remember the good and bad times. Most importantly do not be apologetic about how you deal with how a loss affects you because in the end it’s yours and nobody else’s.
Please do not suffer alone. Along with information on Its Worth Talking About, there are 14 different support services linked to bereavement on treacle.me. Simply look under the bereavement arrow in the yellow section of the support wheel. They cover situations ranging from specific support for bereaved parents or children, to support for families after suicide or for people who are widowed at an early age. If you need help, or support then be kind to yourself and try Treacle today.