Grief is a complex beast that impacts both our physical and mental health… So let’s get talking about it
On the back of this year’s Mental Health Awareness week, we want to start a dialogue about something which has links to scores of mental health (and physical health) conditions.
Yup, we’re talking about grief – or explained another way, a very great sadness that is often caused by the death of a loved one.
To get started, we’ve come up with 5 reasons why we should be talking about grief more.
Grief can take many different forms, so can be hard to identify. While there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way of dealing with it as such, there can certainly be ‘healthier’ and ‘unhealthier’ ways of learning to live with it.
We all will experience grief at some stage, so it’s best to be as prepared as possible either to support yourself, or someone you know. And you know what, chances are somebody you already know well is currently dealing with it in some form.
Grief is something which traditionally has been hidden away, for no good reason other than people don’t know how to talk about it!
Talk is therapy. It’s ok to be vulnerable and open with friends and family – that’s what they’re there for. And don’t forget there are some (professional) strangers there to listen too.
Grief impacts both our mental and physical health – how many other invisible things can do that?!
The Power of Talking
In summary, expressing grief isn’t about being ‘cured’ or getting ‘over it’ – because grief is not an illness, or a condition. It’s something that you learn to have a relationship with, and take with you everywhere you go. It starts with coping mechanisms, and ends up with people owning it.
For that to happen, however, we all need to talk about it more. And one of our bloggers wrote a lovely article about her own experiences with grief, and how to cope with it, which you might want to check out as a starting point.
Not only does talking benefit ourselves, and those connected to us, it also normalises the conversation around grief. This is the only way that we can work towards a better understanding of it and how best to support one another through it.
If there’s a more immediate concern around grief that you feel goes beyond further the conversation about it, then here are some useful sources that you might wish to explore: