One of the hardest challenges that you may ever have to face is the loss of a family member or close friend. The grief you feel will be particularly intense, and while it’s a natural part of life that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. You may find yourself experiencing a range of different emotions, but grieving is an important process that helps you overcome these feelings. No two people react to death in the same way, and everyone uses their own personal coping mechanisms for grief. Most people are able to recover from the loss of a loved one in time, especially with the support of others. Some, however, may struggle for long periods of time and find it difficult to carry on with their daily lives. If you find yourself in a situation, there are a few basic steps that will help you move through the bereavement and grieving process and get on with your life.
Acknowledge Your Feelings
When you’re coping with the loss of a loved one, you’re going to experience a whole range of emotions. There are also going to be moments when you feel more than one emotion at a time. You might think you’re going crazy, but it’s normal to feel a number of different emotions. What you can do is tell yourself your feelings are OK and in no way are they out of the ordinary. It’s also important to understand there’s no right or wrong way when it comes to your feelings.
You can try to suppress your grief, but you’ll have to face it sooner or later and the quicker you face your feelings, the sooner you’ll be able to overcome your loss. Prolonging the grieving process or allowing it to stay unresolved can lead to complications such as depression, anxiety, health problems, and even substance abuse.
You have to allow yourself to grieve in whatever way feels comfortable. If you want to dedicate a small area of your home to your loved one and display photos, then do it. You might want to witness your loved one’s cremation as a way of saying goodbye. Click here for more info. In the world of social media, some people find comfort from creating a Facebook page for those they’ve lost and posting what’s on your mind. Of course, they’re not going to read it, but it can feel like a connection with those who are no longer with you.
There are going to be various times when you don’t require anyone’s company, but there will also be times when you need people around. There are plenty of options for those times when you need some support. Friends and family members, a therapist, a member of your church, and counselors can all help you through the grieving process. It helps to be able to talk about certain things during difficult times. You could attend a support group, meeting and talking with people who have been through similar experiences. This kind of support isn’t for everyone, but the important thing is to be able to speak to someone who knows what you’re going through. It might not be advice you need, just someone to listen. When you’re coping with the death of a loved one, it’s important to know you’re not alone and there’s plenty of help available.
Honor Your Loved One’s Life
If you’d like a positive way to celebrate your loved one’s life there are organizations that will allow you to host an event in their honor. If your loved one died of cancer, for example, find an event that would benefit research and honor your loved one’s memory. Perhaps they had a favorite cause you could sponsor. This is something you could discuss with a loved one before they pass away.
It’s more important than ever to take care of yourself when you have experienced the death of a loved one. Grief can put a strain on your body in a big way, leaving you feeling tired and emotionally drained. Looking after your physical and emotional needs can help you get through this difficult time. Listen to what your body is telling you and don’t be afraid to take extra rest and enjoy quiet time if you need it.
Don’t expect too much from yourself when you’re grieving and realize it’s common to experience problems with sleeping, difficulty concentrating, loss of appetite and compulsive behavior. All of these are perfectly normal when a person has been through a major difficulty.
Try to keep to your usual routine as much as possible and get back to activities that bring you joy and keep you connected to others around you.
As well as taking care of your mental health you also need to take care of your body as the two are linked. If you’re healthy physically, you’re better able to cope emotionally. You can help combat stress and fatigue by eating right, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep.
You may be tempted to drink more alcohol or start taking drugs in the hope that it will numb the pain. Of course, it will work for a short while, but it’s only lifting your mood artificially, and you’ll come down quickly when the effects have worn off. There are going to be times in the future when your memories will be reawakened and being prepared for grief triggers such as anniversaries, holidays and other milestones will help you get through them. If you’re sharing these events with other people, it’ll help if you talk to them in advance about their expectations and find ways to honor the person you loved.
Feelings of sadness, numbness, or anger do ease with time. Intense emotions such as these become weaker as you accept your loss and move forward with your life. However, it is possible for your grief to get worse and this could be a sign it has developed into a serious problem such as complicated grief or major depression. If your anxiety doesn’t go away, you’re going to need expert guidance to make healing changes and move on with your life.