Practice English Speaking&Listening with: DEALING WITH GRIEF AND LOSS ? (9 things I wish I knew earlier)

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Grief is something most of us are going to experience

at some point in our lives, but it's still such

an uncommon topic of discussion and that's what makes people who are grieving

feel very alone. And that's why I want to talk about it today. So in today's video,

I'm going to share 10 things that I wish I knew about grief

beforehand. Things that would have helped me and I hope that these things can help

people who are grieving or if you have a friend who's grieving and you want to

provide a little bit of support, I hope that these things are useful. This

is going to be a longer video and it's going to be a

more serious video, so if that's not for you,

you don't need to watch this. But if you're curious, please keep watching.

Hello hello! Welcome back to The Whole Happy Life. I'm Ria.

So it has been six months... no eight months since I

have done a sit-down video. The last one I did was in

December. It's been a very long time. Most of you who have followed my community

post will know what's been going on but if you've missed those posts, I just

wanted to briefly mention what happened. You can read more details in the

community post. In January, just like everybody else I

was very excited about 2020 and while 2020 went downhill

for most people in March, for me it went downhill

in January. On January 9th, my cat ,Pryda, who you've seen

on the channel many, many times... he's in almost every video...

he passed away rather suddenly. It wasn't something that I expected to happen so

soon...he was only six and a half. He got really sick and within two hours he

had to be euthanized. And this was my first experience with

this whole process. And i was very attached to Pryda so his

loss affected me a lot more than I thought it would.

I started to feel better in a couple months and I was ready to come back to

Youtube in March. I did a couple videos and then suddenly my dad passed away. He

got really sick..he'd been sick for a while but he

got really sick quickly and he was gone within a couple

days. And because of the world situation we're in right

now, I couldn't go back to see him because of travel restrictions.

So it was difficult not being able to say goodbye. So

it's been a really tough year for me. I just wanted to take time off.

I was not really keen on being in front of the camera, so i decided to take a

break and I think that break was really necessary, but now I'm back.

In today's video, I wanted to share some of the things that I

learned from this year... from losing my cat..from losing my dad and also some of

the things I learned from losing my mom in 2012. I feel that the more we talk

about grief, the less people are going to feel alone

when they're going through the process themselves. So that's kind of my intent

in making this video.. just to talk about what I've been through...what I've learned

and I really hope that these things can help some people.

Let's begin. The first thing I've learned is that it's really important to process

emotions properly because if you don't, they can end up

becoming a problem down the line. So let me

explain this. When my mother passed away it was my first experience with grief on

a large scale. I had lost grandparents before that but

it didn't really impact me that much because I wasn't that close to them. I

grew up in a way where I only saw them once a year. It didn't really

affect me all that much, but when my mother died, that was the first time

I saw grief in a totally different way and it impacted me a lot. And because it

was my first experience, I didn't know what to do. So what I ended

up doing was I just kind of distracted myself and tried not to think

about the grief. I did not process the emotions. I was fine the

first couple months and then four months later, all the

emotions came out and I didn't know what to do. And I

struggled with them for a whole year. It was a whole year before I felt better.

Before I felt like myself again. Grief changes you a lot.. you'll

never feel completely like yourself but I started feeling normal a year

later. But if I had processed the emotions earlier, I probably would

have felt better a lot sooner. It's a very difficult

process but i think it's a really important process. My suggestion is

journaling. That's something that I found really, really helpful when my mother

passed away. I did not get to say goodbye to her. She

was on the operating table when she passed

and because I couldn't say goodbye there were all these things that I wasn't able

to tell her and it it really bothered me that I

wasn't able to properly say those things. So what I ended up

doing was I wrote down a letter on a piece of paper.

Obviously I couldn't send it to her but just pouring those emotions down on

paper really, really helped. So something like that can

be helpful. Journaling in general.. just writing down

your emotions can be helpful. Another thing that I found very helpful

was talking to a therapist. It's nice to talk to friends and family

but sometimes there are things that you may not want

to discuss with them. Discussing them with a therapist can feel a little bit

easier and I found it very useful. I went to a

therapist for maybe a couple months. Maybe two or three

months - it's probably five sessions and it made a world of a difference. If I

hadn't done that, I don't think I would have properly

processed all those emotions. Sometimes you need a little bit of help.

Number two: there is no timeline for grieving. As a society, we tell people

that they need to move through grief quickly, that they need to move on...

they're being sad for too long...that it's not healthy.. that it's not normal.

Here's the thing with grief, every single experience of grief

is different and everybody responds differently. Some people take

days, some people take months, some people just take a couple weeks.

Everyone is different and every single experience is different.

When my mom passed away, it took me a year to start to feel somewhat

normal... somewhat back to myself and with my cat, it took me a couple months with

my dad... I don't know. I feel that I've sort of

been able to move forward, but sometimes I do think about

it and it makes me sad. So I don't know when I'm going to feel 100 percent

back to normal again. I may never feel that way, but the thing with grief is you

have to understand that it will take a time and

you can't rush it. There's really no timeline, so give yourself that

allowance.. to take your time. Don't do things quickly, don't rush through the

process just because society tells you to.

Number three: grief can be a strange mix of conflicting emotions.

And it can feel confusing not only for the person who's going through the

grieving process but also for other people. I'm going to

explain this with an example. So when my mother passed away in 2012, I

remember the next day at the funeral, someone said something

that i found funny and I smiled and for a split

moment, I was actually happy, even though in my

mind I felt that I should be sad. It was confusing. I was like "how can I be

happy and sad at the same time?". And I remember someone commenting.. oh how

can you be happy? How can you smile? You should be sad, your mother passed

away. And I started to feel a bit guilty about

having that moment of happiness, but what I've realized is grief is not just a

singular emotion. It's not just sadness - there are

going to be moments when you'll feel happy.

There are going to be moments when you'll feel anger. There'll be moments when you

feel guilt. All sorts of different feelings and

emotions pop up. It's not just sadness. So if you were to paint it, it's not just

a big black circle of sadness. It's all these

different emotions and that's okay. So don't feel guilty if you have a

moment of happiness and you feel like you should be sad

and don't assume that because someone who you think

should be grieving is not displaying sadness, that they're not sad.

You can be happy and sad at the same time when you're grieving.

It's sort of like when you have a day when it's sunny

and it's rainy at the same time. It's a bit weird - doesn't happen that often

but that's kind of what grief can feel like so

that's okay. Number four: grief can feel isolating at times and

it's okay to seek support from unexpected sources. So one of the most

difficult things about grief is the lack of support. I know some

people get a lot of support - they have great friends and family

but that's not the case for everybody and

I certainly felt it this year. I have a few friends who are very supportive - very

very grateful for them. My husband's extremely supportive

but there were people who I expected a little bit more from.

And they kind of just disappeared. And then I started to think that it was just

me, but the more I talked to other people who've been through the grieving process,

it seems that it's kind of the situation. It's kind of what happens. There's

actually an article on the Huffington Post about how grief

changes your address book - how it changes your friendships and your relationships

and that article really resonated with me. I feel that a lot of people

find it very uncomfortable to talk about grief - they don't know what to say to

someone who's grieving and because as a society we just don't

talk about this topic, people just kind of stay away from it. It

makes them feel like they don't know what to do. So I

understand why people kind of just disappeared. There were people who didn't

even text me when they found out that my dad passed

away and it was a bit disappointing to me so here's the thing.

If you're not getting the support that you need from friends and family,

there are other sources out there. Talking to therapists is obviously one

avenue but there are other sources that don't cost money.

Things like Reddit groups and Facebook groups as well. There are quite a few

Facebook groups that deal with loss and just talking to someone who's going

through the same process can feel comforting. So when Pryda passed

away, I definitely had a few friends who were

very supportive but because they had never lost pets, I

didn't quite feel like they understood what I was

going through and I just wanted to talk to someone

who was going through the same process. So I joined a Facebook group

on pet loss and i found it really, really helpful.

I met this woman who had lost her cat in a very similar way..

the way pryda passed and she lost her cat two weeks before mine

and we became Facebook friends. Now we send pictures of our cats to each other

and it's just nice to talk to someone who's gone

through the same process. So even if you are getting support from

friends and family, if you need some additional support from

someone who can truly understand what you're going through,

I think it's a great idea to seek that kind of support. It's

very helpful.

Number five: pet loss is way harder than I thought it would be.

Now i've lost pets in the past. Pryda was not my first

experience with pet loss but the other pets that I lost I wasn't really

that attached to. I was much younger.. it's in a different phase of life

and it didn't really affect me that much. But when Pryda passed away

it affected me a lot. A lot more than I thought it would.

Partly because I was so attached to Pryda. I got Pryda

when my mother passed away... a year after that and he kind of helped me through

the process of grieving and he was a very special

cat. Sometimes you have this special bond with a pet. I think the people who

have gone through this know what it feels like. Not

every single pet feels that way but there are some pets that just feel

really special. Pryda was my special cat and he was partly the

reason I started this channel. He was part of my day-to-day routine. I would

wake up in the morning and cuddle with him. I would cuddle with him at night.

He would sit in the office when I was editing videos.

It was a very different experience to lose

him. It was very emotionally taxing for me.

I couldn't sleep. I didn't sleep properly for four weeks

and when my mother passed my sleep was not impacted, so for me this was a

completely new experience. So now that i've gone through pet loss,

I have a deeper understanding of what it feels like for some people to lose their

pets. People who are really attached to their pets. I think a lot of people

look at pet grief and think well it's just a pet..

what's the big deal.. you can get another one. I actually got a few comments

on my YouTube video.. my tribute video for Pryda ..that you could just get another

one.. what's the big deal? I don't think people like that really

understand what it feels like. Just because they're a pet does not mean

that the grief is any less than losing a family member. To me, my pets are my

family members. I treat them very, very well and they're very

important to me. And I think if you have anybody in your life

who is going through pet loss, be a little bit more supportive to them.

They will really appreciate it. I don't think they receive enough support

and they fear judgment and that's why people don't open up, but pet loss can be

very hard. Now dealing with pet loss.. I found there

were a few things that were very helpful. As I said, talking to therapists was

helpful and also just talking to people who have gone

through the same process. I think the comments that I got on my

community post when i lost Pryda were really really

really helpful because they were from people who had lost their pets. And I

think they understood me and I felt understood in a way that I

didn't feel understood by other people. So that

was nice. So definitely..you know.. seek out support

from people who have been through the process.

It can be very helpful. Number six: making a memory box or folder is a

really simple thing that can be very helpful

because it gives you a place to access the memories of your loved one.

Now obviously you can access the memories of your loved one in your head,

you have your memories in your brain, but it's nice to have them in one place

when you can access them at any time... photos, videos, any small mementos...those

kind of things. I did not do this when my mother passed

away and looking back I think I should have. It

would have been a very helpful process. When Pryda passed away, I did this. I have

a memory box for him. I have a photo book of him. iIhave his

urn. I have a little pendant urn in there too

and I also made a tribute video for him. It

was a very difficult process to make that video

but it helped me process my emotions which i thought was very helpful

and now whenever I miss him, I can go back and look at that video.

I can go back and go to that memory box and look at his photos.

So it's just nice to do something like that. So when my dad passed away,

I did it. I have a little folder on my phone.. whenever I

think of him, I can look at his photos and it

gives me a sense of peace and comfort and if you're grieving and you haven't

done this I highly suggest that. I found it very

very useful.. it is a difficult process. When I made

the tribute video for Pryda... going through all of his videos and

photos was extremely difficult. By the end of the

day, my cheeks were completely tear stained. I

cried for six hours straight but i felt better afterwards. So i

definitely recommend this if you haven't done this already.

Number seven: maintaining a routine that includes self-care

is so, so important. There is one strategy that is recommended

on a lot of blogs that talk about grief and that is to maintain a routine.

I did not do this when my mother passed away. I did not do this when Pryda

passed away and I did this when my dad passed away

and I found it very helpful. By having a routine, you know what to do

and you take care of yourself. When you don't

have a routine.. every day is just it's all over the place and when you're

grieving having every day that's all over the place just makes the

grieving process that much harder. And self-care is so important.

Eating well is important. Sleeping well is important and if you're

grieving just make the effort to do the basics. We're

not talking about an elaborate routine just something very basic. Get up on time.

Eat on time. Get some physical activity - it makes a world

of a difference. Number eight: having a creative outlet during the

grieving process can make a huge difference. When my mom

passed away and when Pryda passed away - I kind of just distracted myself with

television. I watched a lot of television. I actually watched 12

seasons of Murdoch Mysteries when Pryda passed away - quite a bit.

But here's the thing with television - it feels nice in the moment

and it feels like a good distraction but it doesn't

actively really help you with the grieving process. That's been my

experience at least. So when my dad passed away I approached

things a little bit differently. I had started art classes two weeks

before he passed and i just continued them after he

passed and honestly having art in my life every day

after he passed was so helpful. I can't even tell you how

helpful it was. They say art can be like therapy..

I never really understood that but now that I've

gone through this process it's definitely helpful and it doesn't just

need to be art it could be something else too.

If there's something that you like to do.. some creative outlet

continue with that or start it up again. It can be very, very helpful when you're

going through the grieving process. Number nine: losing a second parent is

really hard - on a different level. When my mother

passed in 2012, it was difficult but I still had my dad

around. I still had one parent around. Now that my dad is gone it is

difficult on a different level. It's hard to even explain it

in words...

Most people lose their second parent in their 50s and 60s and I imagine it's a

difficult process but at that age it's also a different

experience. I imagine, I don't know, but in your 30s..

I'm 36. It feels like there's no one else who can understand what you're going

through. I don't know anybody in my extended

friend circle even my immediate friend circle who has been

through this. Very, very few people have lost both

parents so early and it feels like there is this loss of

connection to your childhood.. connection to your family...connection to

your background. And I don't know ...it's really not

something that you can do anything about.. we're all going to lose our parents at

some point but it's hard and know that if you've

lost both your parents and you're young.. know that there are groups out there for

support. There are quite a few groups on reddit and there are groups on facebook

as well. So if you need that external support, do get it.

I have thankfully had very supportive friends...I have a friend who I talk to

every day. She's been very supportive.. my husband's

very supportive.. so I think to get through things like this you definitely

need support. I hope this video gave you something to think about. If you found it

useful please do give it a thumbs up because that helps other people find

this video - people who might need this kind of information.

I will see you in the next video..until then take care.

bye

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