You thought that things were progressing well for you, in dealing with your own personal grief, until a friend experiences a loss. Then, suddenly, you find yourself once again deeply reminded of your own emotional pain.
Sights, sounds and smells are also high on the trigger list. It's almost as if our senses are out there doing the searching for us.
The trick is to let these triggers become opportunities for you to continue to do your grief work, without making you miserable.
don't let someone else's grief become your own - and vise versa.
It’s very common that you hear someone else at a funeral sharing their own similar experience with a new griever, when, ideally, they should be focused on their friend’s need to share their story and feelings. Do not launch into your own grief story unless you sense that told gently and sensitively, it will offer something worth hearing. You may have to wait months or years for it to be useful to your friend. Remember, this is about your friend's needs and story, not yours.
Be there to help your friend, but remember to be a good caretaker you must also take care of yourself. Allow yourself to be happy and do not feel guilty for taking time away from your friends grief. Allow yourself time to deal with your own grief - whether it be for the same person your friend lost or grief that is coming back up due to the loss of someone else in your past.
how to deal with "triggers".
Do not run from your triggers. Instead learn to use them as a tool to work through your grief. Triggers will help you stay focused on your grief and will carry you into a deeper place of your grief journey than you could have ever done on your own. This is a good thing.
Use these triggers to remember your loved one and not the loss of them. Seeing a photograph or old piece of clothing can remind you that they are no longer here but can also bring you to a memory of good times together. Hearing their favorite song can remind you they are no longer able to enjoy the melody but can remind you to stop and enjoy the little things. Having someone walk by wearing their signature scent can bring tears to your eyes but those can be happy tears when you remember that they also used to wear WAY too much of it.
Learning to use your triggers to bring positivity to your journey through grief will no doubt put you on the right path.
grief has no end and is simply a path you must walk on.
You decide what that path will look like. Will you choose to pave the path with good memories or will you go down the dark path of grief that only leads you back to the past.
Hang in there. You are not alone in this journey through grief. You will not always feel this way. The overall message is that grief does not need to be a crippling destructive force in our lives - you will learn to use the triggers for good.
IT IS THE CAPACITY TO FEEL CONSUMING GRIEF AND PAIN AND DESPAIR, THAT ALSO ALLOWS ME TO EMBRACE LOVE AND JOY AND BEAUTY WITH MY WHOLE HEART. I MUST LET IT ALL IN.