6 Simple Tips for Dealing With the Loss of a Loved One
Disclaimer: Although this article primarily focuses on the bereavement aspect of grief, please know that loss in any form, can ignite feelings of grief. Please seek help if you're finding it difficult to navigate what you are feeling.
Experiencing the loss of a loved one, undoubtedly, can leave us feeling devastated and overwhelmed with emotions. And though it is true that we all process grief differently, the one thing that is universal is that it hurts. If you have recently (or have ever) found yourself feeling the sting of a loss or having to manage a new "norm," below are 6 simple tips that you may find helpful.
Number 1, and probably most important, is to allow yourself the time you need to grieve. Give yourself time to cry and to remember your loved one. This can be as short as 15 minutes a day or longer if needed. Allowing yourself time to mourn will help you come to terms with your loss.
Create a memory book. Creating a memory book is another useful way to enhance the healing process. You can put pictures of your loved one, memorable papers, small items that remind you of good times together, or cards they sent you in a special photo album or scrapbook. Be sure to put your memory book together at a time when you are relaxed and not rushed with other obligations. Feel free to look at it when you need to, but avoid becoming obsessed with it. Put it away from time to time so that you don’t spend all your time clinging to the memory of what once was.
Remove large pictures of your loved one from the main living areas of the home. This may feel cruel, but the truth is that having a large picture right in the living area will make it more difficult to carry on with the daily necessities. You can still honor the memory of your loved one by continuing on in a healthy way (as I'm sure they would have liked), but also by placing the picture in a room that is separate from the main living space so that you can still look at it when you want to.
Exercise your faith. When you begin to feel overwhelmed, you may find that a visit to your Spiritual leader/mentor may prove beneficial. In this sacred space, you can be afforded the opportunity to grieve and to understand that you’re not alone in your struggles.
Seek professional help. You can also reach out to a grief counselor. Grief counselors are experienced in helping people in your situation to cope with their loss. They can work with you individually to find methods that work best for you.
Talk with friends. Friends will listen rather than judge, and can be an excellent support system to help you navigate through your feelings of loss. Make time to call or visit in person. You can also use social sites like Facebook or Instagram to reconnect with friends that have moved or that you’ve lost touch with.
Unarguably, coping with the loss of a loved one is a difficult process, but using these tips may prove to be "just what the doctor ordered" in helping you to start putting one foot in front of the other. Don't forget to give yourself GRACE. Allow yourself the time you need with your grief to heal, but also keeping in mind that you will need to move on eventually. As with all things, with time (and sometimes, professional help), it will become easier. Have faith that there will come a time when you will be able to think about your loved one without experiencing the overwhelmingly painful feelings associated with the loss. Taking it one step at a time, one minute at a time, one day at a time, you will get there.
Many Blessings to You and Yours,
From Faith & Theory