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Dealing with Greif

When you lose someone you love, it can turn your world upside down.

When we aren’t creating unique and meaningful memorial jewellery, we often talking to our valued customers about how they are feeling and sadly Greif is a topic we come across daily.

In today’s post, we will discuss some tips on how to cope after losing a loved one.

You miss the person who has passed away and yearn to have them back.
You may feel sad, alone, or even angry. You might have trouble sleeping or even concentrating. If you were a busy caregiver, you might feel lost when you suddenly have so much more time on your hands. Feelings like this are normal.

Adapting to the loss of a loved one

Experts say you should let yourself grieve in your own way and time. People have unique ways of expressing emotions. For example, some might express their feelings by doing things rather than talking about them. They may feel better going on a walk or swimming, or by doing something creative like writing or painting. For others, it may be more helpful to talk with family and friends about the person who’s gone, or with a counsellor.

“Though people don’t often associate them with grief, laughing and smiling are also healthy responses to loss and can be protective,” explains Dr. George Bonanno, who studies how people cope with loss and trauma at Columbia University. He has found that people who express flexibility in their emotions often cope well with loss and are healthier over time.

“It’s not about whether you should express or suppress emotion, but that you can do this when the situation calls for it,” he says. For instance, a person with emotional flexibility can show positive feelings, like joy, when sharing a happy memory of the person they lost and then switch to expressing sadness or anger when recalling more negative memories, like an argument with that person.

Grief is a process of letting go and learning to accept and live with loss. The amount of time it takes to do this varies with each person. “Usually people experience a strong acute grief reaction when someone dies and at the same time they begin the gradual process of adapting to the loss,” explains psychiatrist Dr. M. Katherine Shear at Columbia University. “To adapt to a loss, a person needs to accept its finality and understand what it means to them. They also have to find a way to re-envision their life with possibilities for happiness and for honouring their enduring connection to the person who died.”

Researchers like Lichtenthal have found that finding meaning in life after loss can help you adapt. Connecting to those things that are most important, including the relationship with the person who died, can help you co-exist with the pain of grief.

Types of Grief 

About 10% of bereaved people experience complicated grief, a condition that makes it harder for some people to adapt to the loss of a loved one. People with this prolonged, intense grief tend to get caught up in certain kinds of thinking, says Shear, who studies complicated grief. They may think the death did not have to happen or happen in the way that it did. They also might judge their grief—questioning if it’s too little or too much—and focus on avoiding reminders of the loss.

“It can be very discouraging to experience complicated grief, but it’s important not to be judgmental about your grief and not to let other people judge you,” Shear explains.

Shear and her research team created and tested a specialized therapy for complicated grief in three NIH-funded studies. The therapy aimed to help people identify the thoughts, feelings, and actions that can get in the way of adapting to loss. They also focused on strengthening one’s natural process of adapting to loss. The studies showed that 70% of people taking part in the therapy reported improved symptoms. In comparison, only 30% of people who received the standard treatment for depression had improved symptoms.

You may begin to feel the loss of your loved one even before their death. This is called anticipatory grief. It’s common among people who are long-term caregivers. You might feel sad about the changes you are going through and the losses you are going to have. Some studies have found that when patients, doctors, and family members directly address the prospect of death before the loss happens, it helps survivors cope after the death.

Think About Your Loved One Often

Many people fall into the trap of trying to keep themselves busy because thinking about their loss is too painful. However, we believe it is important to remember your lost loved one and the fond memories you shared.

You may find it helpful to wear an item of memorial jewellery to remind you of your loved one, something from the Memorial jewellery collection, which you can personalise using your loved one’s words. Then you can think of your loved one every time you touch your piece of jewellery. You may also consider having a photo of them engraved or a finger or hand print which is a unique and special way to remember someone. 

If you are grieving the loss of a pet, we also offer paw print jewellery and photo jewellery which may help you remember your furry family member.


Life After Loss 

NIH-funded scientists continue to study different aspects of the grieving process. They hope their findings will suggest new ways to help people cope with the loss of a loved one.

Although the death of a loved one can feel overwhelming, many people make it through the grieving process with the support of family and friends. Take care of yourself, accept offers of help from those around you, and be sure to get counselling if you need it.

“We believe grief is a form of love and it needs to find a place in your life after you lose someone close,” 

“If you are having trouble moving forward in your own life, you may need professional help. Please don’t lose hope. We have some good ways to help you.”



Optimizing Treatment of Complicated Grief: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Shear MK, Reynolds CF, Simon NM, Zisook S, Wang Y, Mauro C, Duan N, Lebowitz B, Skritskaya N. JAMA Psychiatry. 2016 Jul 1;73(7):685-94. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.0892. PMID: 27276373.

The central role of meaning in adjustment to the loss of a child to cancer: implications for the development of meaning-centered grief therapy. Lichtenthal WG, Breitbart W. Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care. 2015 Mar;9(1):46-51. doi:10.1097/SPC.0000000000000117. PMID: 25588204.

Networks of loss: Relationships among symptoms of prolonged grief following spousal and parental loss. Maccallum F, Malgaroli M, Bonanno GA. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 2017 Jul;126(5):652-662. doi:10.1037/abn0000287. PMID: 28594192.

Predictors of Prolonged Grief, Resilience, and Recovery Among Bereaved Spouses. Mancini AD, Sinan B, Bonanno GA. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 2015 Dec;71(12):1245-58. doi:10.1002/jclp.22224. PMID: 26394308.

Coping With Grief | NIH News in Health

1 comment

Rupinder Singh (Rups)

I have been really struggling after losing my aunt whom I was very close to, these tips are great. I would like to get an item made in memory of her and I will reach out privately to you for this.

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