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We often associate grief with the passing of a loved one.
However, grief also has its roots in the death of a relationship.
The immeasurable feelings of pain, loss, and sorrow that one experiences over the passing of a loved one are similarly felt at the end of a serious relationship.
We mourn our significant other who is no longer a part of our lives, regardless of whether their absence is for the better or worse.
We mourn the loss of the house that, together, made a home. A home filled with memories—some good, some bad, some unspeakably ugly.
We feel a loss of identity. “Who am I if I am no longer someone’s significant other?”
And as with the death of a loved one, we go through the same five stages of mourning:
>> Denial. Denial that this is it. This is the end. The relationship is over.
>> Anger toward our partner or oneself for the actions or inactions that are attributed to the relationship’s breakdown.
>> Bargaining—an attempt to change the outcome:
“If only I’d shown more love and affection, he/she would have stayed.”
“What if I had changed my behaviour? Maybe then they would never have left?”
And the many more “if only” and “what ifs.”
>> Depression. Opening the door to depression, as the overwhelming sense of loneliness and abandonment creep in while we wallow in profound sadness and sorrow.
>> Acceptance. Finally, acceptance. We come to accept that the relationship is over, and this person will no longer be a part of our life.
When we do not allow ourselves to exhibit the emotions of grief, our body stores the unprocessed emotions in our muscles and organs, leading to physical symptoms of illness.
And it’s for this reason why we must go through the motions, allowing ourselves to grieve.
So permit yourself to feel the overwhelming pain engulfing every inch of your being. And express your emotions unashamedly.
Break down and cry like your heart has shattered into millions of tiny pieces because, metaphorically, it has.
Be angry and scream at the top of your lungs, not caring about who hears. Everyone experiences grief at some point in their life.
Self-soothe by snuggling up in bed with a teddy bear, security blanket, or whatever you need, as its warmth will provide solace whilst you acclimatise to sleeping alone.
And above all else, grant yourself the time to heal, as you will need it.
And have faith that in time, as the pain surely but slowly fades away, brighter days will most certainly come again.