Sunday, December 13, 2009

Emotions of Grief

In October I wrote about a day set aside as a day of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance. The Remembering Our Babies Foundation like this site desires to help those who are hurting.

On their website is a wealth of information about grieving. Below are three emotions that they target during grief.

Anger is a common emotion following a death. You may find yourself angry at a situation, at a person in particular, or just angry in general. You will often find that you take out this anger on those closest around you. You cannot choose to be angry, but you can choose how to express it. Try holding an imaginary conversation with the person you are angry with, or write them a letter that only you need to see. What is making you angry with this person? Talk or write out all of your feeling about that person or situation. Understanding your anger is the first step toward dealing with it. Hit a pillow, kick a bed, play tennis, or scream if it makes you feel better! The experts claim that exercise is an excellent stress reliever.

Whether rational or not, appropriate or not, almost everyone experiences guilt. Guilt can be triggered by almost anything, but usually comes under the heading of “I could have, I should have, I wish I would have...” Acknowledge guilt, by looking at each situation, write it down if you need to. If you feel your guilt is warranted, write an apology--even if you are the only one to read it. Vow to learn from your mistakes and move on.

Depression - Sometimes feelings of numbness and shock go on longer than the first few weeks. Although it is common to experience some of these earlier symptoms from time to time, it is not a good sign to have these symptoms constantly. Be sure to have at least one person that you can discuss your feelings with. Even better, join a bereavement group. Talk to your doctor about how you feel, and perhaps seek a counselor for further treatment. Call a crisis hotline if you ever feel that you may consider suicide.

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