Here are a few ways that can help you cope with loss and minimize your pain while you mourn:
1. Participate in rituals
Make sure you take part and join in the funeral, memorial service and other traditions as it can not only help you to accept the reality, but also honor the deceased. Seeing how others love, respect and remember your loved one can be comforting.
2. Express and release your emotions
“He wept, and it felt as if the tears were cleansing him, as if his body needed to empty itself.” – Lois Lowry
Cry if you feel like it. Crying can help you get a cathartic release which can help you cope with the loss. Whatever emotions you’re going through, know that it is natural and normal. The pain will fade over time.
3. Show compassion to yourself
Patience is key when trying to heal and recover. Grief can last a lifetime but the pain doesn’t have to. It will take time to heal yourself and you will always miss them even years after they are gone. Grieving takes time. So allow yourself all the time you need and be kind and patient with yourself.
4. Talk to someone
Sit down with someone you are close with and talk about whatever you feel. Let everything out without holding anything back. However, if you don’t want to talk, you can express your emotions by writing a daily journal or a poem or anything you like as a tribute to your loved one.
5. Preserve their memories
Create a memory box or a file that contains certain reminders of them. You can put their photos, clothing items, their favorite things or anything that reminds you of them. However, make sure you don’t become a hoarder and keep everything that belonged to them. Letting go is a crucial part of healing. The key is to bring balance back to your life while remembering them fondly. You may also plant a tree or participate in a charity run to honor their memory.
6. Self care is important
“Grief is in two parts. The first is loss. The second is the remaking of life.” – Anne Roiphe
It’s easy to fall into complacency and avoid yourself when coping with heavy and suffocating emotions of grief. It’s very easy to fall victim to addictive behavior during this time. You need to be aware and maintain a healthy and positive lifestyle. Eat healthy, stay hydrated, get plenty of exercise and follow a good sleeping schedule.
7. Join a support group
“It is true that the grief journey is very lonely, but it is also up to you to decide just how lonely you will make it.” – Elizabeth Berrien
Support groups can be a great help when trying to overcome grief. Support groups in your local community can help you learn new and effective coping mechanisms and gain new perspectives from people who have similar experiences. You don’t have to go through this alone. You may also seek help from a counsellor and talk to a professional if you want to.
Find strength inside
The sharp, intolerable pain of grief and loss is undoubtedly one of the worst emotions ever. Grief can come from the death of a loved one or a beloved pet, an accident, chronic illness, loss of career, end of a relationship or certain situations that change your life permanently.
However, it is imperative that you face your grief instead of trying to deny or escape it. You need to dig deep and find all the strength you can muster, but you should not give up. Ever.
You don’t need to make progress every single day. There will be days when you will feel positive while the very next day you may feel numbness. But that’s okay. Rest and pause. Be patient and compassionate with yourself. The heavy weight of grief will be extremely crippling at times, but you can get through this.
“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.” – Anne Lamott
Seek professional help if you are unable to manage the pain. If your friend or family member is having a difficult time coping with grief, encourage them to seek therapy.