You’re heartbroken? Maybe you’re upset. Or making an effort to understand it all, why did this need to occur? Why at this time? What will life be like now that you’ve lost your loved one?
A simple explanation that works in every circumstance and explains everything would be fantastic but unfortunately there isn’t. When bad things happen to us, we can’t always fathom the motivations behind them. Even the passing of a loved one is veiled in mystery.
I know that losing a loved one is one of the most painful experiences, whether it be a dear friend, a partner, a parent, a child, or any else related. It’s possible that after suffering such a devastating loss, you feel like nothing will ever be the same again. But I felt from my own experience that the pain of loss can be lessened and the future can be looked forward with a positive outlook.
If you or someone you know has lost a loved one, the following tips may help to cope with the loss:
- Allow yourself to feel everything, even the pain. Don’t force yourself to feel a certain way or let someone else tell you how to feel.
- Don’t put pressure on yourself by expecting to accomplish too much. Realize that you are the only person who can gain insight from your pain, feelings, and recovery process. Never second-guess your emotions or judge yourself too harshly.
- The feelings you’d rather ignore, acknowledge them. Also, permit yourself to cry. It’s crucial to getting better and coping with the grieving process.
- Express your feelings of loss and share your thoughts and memories of your departed loved one with those around you. Do not be reluctant to seek assistance. Try to find those who can relate to your pain.
- Keep your routine as consistent as you can. After a loss, major life choices like changing jobs or dissolving important relationships should be postponed until you have had time to grieve.
- Don’t be tempted by drugs or alcohol. Drowning our sorrow may seem like the only thing we can do, but it can lead you down a dark and dangerous path. The healing process will be slowed and further issues may arise.
- Get your mind off things. Try engaging in different activites. Get a massage, paint your nails, go to the movies, catch a ballgame, read a good book, or put on some tunes.
- Holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries are all days that might bring up strong feelings. Pick and choose the rituals you wish to continue and pick new ones you wish to establish to honor your loved one’s memory. Plan out how you want to spend your time and with whom. Do something to honor the memory of your loved one.
- Join a grief counseling group. People can be a source of encouragement, guidance, and comfort. In addition to making you feel like you have someone to talk to, they could be a wealth of information and insight. If you can’t locate a local support group, you can always turn to online networks for help. The Lenity Light Hospice of Texas team also has resources for you. Please feel free to call the office or send us an email.
As there is no “correct” way to feel loss, there is also no “correct” way to grieve. Practically every method depends a lot on the individual and their unique experience.
Schedule Time for Reflection and Introspection
You may feel as though nothing makes sense anymore after suffering a loss. Making a change for the better in your life, one that makes you feel like you’re expanding and maturing is one way to turn your loss into a significant catalyst for change. For instance, I believe you could benefit from devoting more time and effort to nurturing your relationships with those closest to you.
Writing about the impact your loved one had on your life in a journal or other written form may also help you find and build meaning after their loss.
Discuss your feelings with someone
We have a natural inclination to open up about significant life events, such as grief, with those closest to us. Talking to someone, be it a friend, partner, coworker, or therapist, about your feelings can be helpful, especially in the beginning stages of mourning. Conversation and discussion of our feelings allows us to achieve a more complete awareness and acceptance of the loss that has occurred.
Keep in Touch With Those You’ve Lost
There is growing evidence showing that establishing some type of connection emphasizing the loss and a link to that loss will help individuals cope with grief. There are different ways you can go about establishing this connection. You can start by:
- Begin writing in a diary.
- Produce a scrapbook.
- Create visuals.
- Grow some shrubs or trees.
- Get involved in a way that honors the deceased person’s passions.
- Create a blog/website
- Create a social media group page
In the end, its about what feels right for you. Do what you think you need. Understand that this is a path each of us walks privately, and it is perfectly okay for you to feel the way you do. Accept what your mind and body are telling you, and allow yourself to experience the feelings inside of you. Only you can decide what is the right way to grieve.