Dealing with Grief and Loss
The grief of dealing with the loss of someone you love can be unbearable. The emotions that run through you are more than you can handle sometimes. Itâ€™s as though someone has ripped your heart out and is just stomping on it over and over again. Some days, it may seem like you canâ€™t go on with life without that person. Itâ€™s a nightmare.
These feelings and thoughts may not be yours exactly, but you can probably relate to them. Grief is different for everyone, and dealing with it is just as individualized. However, there are some similarities in how people cope with the loss of a loved one. The following are some of those,Â so that you can try them as you move forward with this heart-wrenching situation.
The American Psychological Association often helps people who are dealing with the loss of a close friend or relative. The organization offers the following ways to cope:
- Speak to a loved one about the death. It can be difficult to do this, but itâ€™s therapeutic. When youâ€™re able to talk about it, itâ€™s less likely youâ€™ll isolate yourself or go into denial. Isolating and denying the person has died can make the process of healing longer and much harder.
- Embrace your feelings as they come and go. You will likely notice some days you will be okay, while other days you wonâ€™t want to crawl out of bed. This is normal and you should acknowledge them as they happen. Thereâ€™s nothing wrong with going about your day just like you did before the person died, and thereâ€™s nothing wrong with taking time away from life to heal. However, if the days youâ€™re unable to get out of bed begin to outweigh the number of days you do, it may be time to speak to a professional.
- Care for yourself and family. You need your strength as you mourn. Continue to eat well and exercise every single day. This will help keep your stress levels low. You donâ€™t need stress compounding the anxiety you already feel over losing someone who was special in your life.
- Help others. You likely know others who are also having a difficult time with the death. While you need support, it can help to provide support as well. Together, you can lean on one another and get what you all need during this difficult time.
- Celebrate the life of the deceased. Instead of pushing the memories of your loved one out of your mind, consider bringing them forward and celebrate them. It can make you feel better if youâ€™re able to smile and laugh. Actually, studies have shown that merely smiling can help reduce stress levels.
Mental Health America also offers some tips on how you can cope with grief and loss.
- Donâ€™t make any important life changes. While youâ€™re grieving, your decision-making skills may be affected. Added stress can cause you to feel overwhelmed and depressed as well. Itâ€™s best to deal with one life change at a time. Hold off anything major until you can confidently say you have overcome the grief – which you will say someday.
- Give yourself time. It takes time to mourn. Itâ€™s impossible to say how long it takes. Some people can heal in just a few days, while others take years. Let yourself go through the healing process as quickly or as slowly as needed.
Seek Professional Help
Itâ€™s not easy to deal with grief and loss. Even after implementing these tips, you may find overcoming this situation is impossible. Turn to a psychologist, counselor, or another professional to help you if you feel this way. There are other ways to help you grieve that have not been covered here because they need the support and guidance only a qualified therapist can provide.
Reach out for help during this time in your life. You need it. You deserve it. Your loved one would want you to do it.