Happiness and enjoyment after losing a loved one is often viewed as taboo, due to our preconceived perceptions of loss and mourning leading to high levels of anxiety. Find out more about this here!
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Having experienced grief and seeing its effects on family and close friends, one of the biggest internal conflicts people go through is the ability to feel happiness while grieving. Many people feel guilty for laughing with friends and being social during this time, as they feel as though they should be in a constant state of grief and depression. Happiness is almost labelled as taboo due to the perceptions of grief, forged from the media and personal beliefs.
Social pressure and internalised fear make all of us think twice about the way we act after losing a loved one, questioning our actions and habits. We do not want to appear as though we have either ‘forgotten’ or ‘moved on’ from the grief while out and about. Though feelings of grief can vary depending on the person experiencing it, very rarely are we in a consistent state of overwhelming grief for the rest of our lives after losing someone.
Understanding that happiness is not a replacement for grief and mourning is the first step to overcome when experiencing these types of emotions. Naturally, we need social interaction as humans to live and maintain a sense of normality, that can help us through depression and hard times.
Social interaction is also essential when working through a personal grief journey, as we can voice our concerns allowing others to understand and help us during this time.
Happiness during the holidays
The holidays and Calendar events are traditionally difficult for those grieving, requiring a base level of communication and understanding by those around us. These celebratory days and weeks however are naturally filled with fun activities that encourage enjoyment and happiness. Though these days can include a dedicated time to remember those we have lost, they are also times in which we can enjoy being around those we love without judgment or questioning. Happiness during these days is encouraged and should be grasped with both hands to appreciate the people we love around us.
Happiness after grief should not be taboo. Knowing that after losing a loved one we cannot be expected to isolate with a grey cloud above our heads for the rest of our lives is one way in which we can breach this way of thinking. But more importantly, talking to those we love about how we feel and what will help us during this difficult time is paramount, while progressing through your personal grief journey.
Co-founder quote “Wanting to be happy after grief was a difficult barrier to overcome, as I believed many people expected me to be in a consistent state of mourning. However, I found social interaction beneficial during my grief journey, with close friends encouraging me to maintain a daily routine that included having a social life. Having this group of supportive friends around me really helped me work through episodes of grief induced depression and anxiety. Talking to them and sharing my emotions and experiences helped me overcome some of the stigmatisms I held regarding happiness and enjoyment after grief.”
Visit our Helpful Websites page for links to helplines and other centres. There’s no shame in asking for help.