First Aid For Emotional Hurt
The majority of this information is attributed to the unknown Author of the titled article. I have adapted the article to include those for whom the loss experience may not be as fresh as for others, and to give a little understanding about what the body does with unresolved grief – grief and mourning which have been avoided. I use this article as part of a Grief Kit when educating people. It is sage advice that can be applied anywhere along the grieving process.
We all feel pain when we lose a loved one, but there are positive steps you can take to aid healing in the grieving process. This is intended to be a warm and comforting guide to help you through your fried – things to do, when there’s nothing to be done. Here’s some thoughts on helping you manage:
Accept The Loss Of Your Loved One
- You can expect to be in shock for a while.
- You may struggle to believe and disbelieve this could happen
- It happened.
- Accept it.
- Tell yourself ‘You are strong enough’.
Hurt Is Normal
- You are hurting.
- Admit it.
- To feel intense pain after the loss of a loved one is normal.
- It is proof that you are alive.
- It is a sign that you are able to respond to life’s experiences.
- Although you may be frightened by your pain, accept it, feel it.
- You will not find it bottomless.
- Don’t deny it, run from it, or say you’re over it.
- Hurt for a while.
You’re Not Alone
- Loss is a part of life, of being alive, of being human.
- Everyone experiences loss.
- Along your journey through grief, your task is to move from immediate loss to eventual acceptance as smoothly and as comfortably as possible.
- Somehow the camaraderie of mutual suffering eases the pain, you have comrades.
Remember You Are a Worthwhile Person
- You are okay, you are more than okay, you are worthwhile; and your pain matters.
- Your self-esteem may have suffered a jolt, your thoughts may be full of guilt, worry, anger, condemnation and self-depreciation.
- These thoughts are symptoms of the stress you are feeling.
- Being aware of that, try not to concentrate on them.
- Don’t punish yourself with “if onlys” and “what ifs”
- You are much more than the emotional wound you are currently suffering.
- Don’t lose sight of that.
Get Lots Of Rest – NOW!
- Obtain help with ongoing tasks.
- Arrange your life so that you schedule rest into the day.
- Plan to go to bed earlier and sleep later.
- Go gently, don’t rush around too much.
- Your body needs energy for repair.
- Rest your emotions.
- Productive work helps rest emotions.
- Do as much of that as is comfortable, but be careful not to use it as an excuse to avoid your pain.
It’s Okay To Need Comforting
- Accept understanding from family, friends, and co-workers.
- An emotional wound is real.
- It is disabling and painful, it’s okay to need comfort.
- Feel free to seek the help of a professional grief counsellor.
- Be brave enough to accept help from others, especially if you are a man.
Surround Yourself With Things That Are Alive
- Even if you feel like it, don’t isolate yourself from life.
The Question Of Suicide
- You may be having suicidal thoughts.
- Know that they are a natural symptom of severe emotional pain and that there is no need to act on them.
- If you are afraid these thoughts are getting out of hand, seek professional help at once.
- The feeling will lessen with the passage of time, you can count on that, you will begin to recover.
Do your mourning now
Everything else can wait.
An emotional wound requires the same priority attention as a physical wound.
Set aside time for mourning.
If you resist mourning, you will be interfering with the body and mind’s natural stages of repair.
If you postpone the healing process, grief can return with intense emotion months, even years later.
Understand your body will take this opportunity to release avoided grief from other loss in your life; this may contribute to you feeling more than overwhelmed.
It’s okay, your body is working with you.
Being aware of this helps you to choose to move forward.
Be gentle with yourself
- Accept the fact that you have an emotional wound.
- A disabling wound that will take time to heal.
- Don’t take on new responsibilities. When appropriate let your co-workers and employer know you are healing.
- Avoid situations in which you think you might over react. Your body and mind are super sensitive right now. Invest your energy into healing and growing.
It’s Okay To Feel Sad
- Pretending to have more energy, enthusiasm or happiness than you actually have is not productive.
- Crying has its own special use.
- It is a cleaning and marvellous release.
It’s Okay To Feel Anger
- Everyone gets angry at the loss of a loved one – everyone!
- It’s not okay to act upon your anger in a destructive way.
- Your anger will go away as the hurt heals.
Remaining Distraught Is Not Proof Of Love
- Remaining distraught for a long period of time is not proof that you ‘really loved’.
- In other words, don’t feel duty bound to feel pain for any longer than it is actually there.
- As you continue to heal you will find that; you think sharper, your judgement is more reliable, your concentration has improved, your view of the world is less self-preoccupied, and your feelings are more alive.
- Acceptance marks a new chapter in your life.
- You will have to make changes in this new chapter of your life as required.
- Now might be a good time to start experimenting with new ways of filling in your days.
Freedom To Choose
- You’re in control now.
- Make the most of your ability to choose.
- You are bringing order into your world again.
- You can choose the world you want to have around you.
- Now you are ready to make major decisions. Don’t make major decisions during the healing process, you simply are not ready to make them objectively.
A Pat On The Back For A Job Well Done
- You’ve been through losing, surviving, healing, and growing.
A Word On Holidays, Anniversaries, And Birthdays
- These can be some of the hardest times.
- They are times when the loss can resurface with the rawness of the initial event.
- By being aware of this you can choose to give yourself permission to feel the feelings that may come.
- Be as gentle with yourself now as you were whilst you were healing.
One other thing, it’s okay to laugh!