How to deal with sadness and grief
In our pursuit of happiness, we often forget that sadness and grief are part of the human experience. Most of us believe that if we put in hard work and effort, we can find true happiness.
The truth about sadness and grief, however, is far from this. It is easier to fall into the trap of thinking – once I achieve my goals, once I get that dream job, once I find my soul mate – life will be perfect. But everyone, regardless of age, social status or circumstance, goes through their share of ups and downs. Sadness is an inevitable part of life.
Why do we feel sad?
Sadness and grief almost always stem from loss – the loss of a dearly loved person, a closely held belief or even a material thing. And sometimes we just bury our feelings deep inside and pretend to be strong.
What can one do in such a situation? How does one find happiness and overcome grief when everything seems against you?
Grief and Bereavement
Grief is an intense and long-lasting form of sadness. When we lose a loved one, we lose a part of ourselves and that takes some time to heal. Often, our grief is so personal that we forget that pain is experienced in some way by all human beings.
Karen was only thirteen when her beloved grandmother passed away. Her Nana had raised her, and she couldn’t believe it. She lost interest in everything – her friends, studies and hobbies. Even her parents couldn’t get through to her; no one could. Soon she started acting out – coming home late with no explanation, spending hours in her room moping. Her worried parents then sent her to a therapist.
There, she found a safe space. She found that she could talk easily about her grandma for hours. Talking about her Nana helped, and she slowly realized that she needn’t be afraid that she’d forget her. All that she had learnt from her would stay. Nana was a part of her.
On Karen’s suggestion, she and her family decided to go to old-age homes and spend time with the elderly. Spending this time together also brought the entire family closer than ever before. They started to share more and Karen found friends in her parents.
We need to remember death and loss are a part of life. We can’t always explain why bad things happen, but we can control how we react to them.
So, the next time you find yourself weakening at the face of inevitable loss or tragedy, remember:
- Sadness and grief are a natural reaction to loss. Allow yourself to feel those feelings, and you’ll be stronger.
- Be honest with yourself and others around you. Communication will help you get through this difficult time.
- If we accept the inevitability of death and loss, we can celebrate life and cherish the living even more.