How to Deal With Grief of Losing a Loved One
Pain demands to be felt. This is among the most notable lines of John Green, the author of the book entitled “The Fault In Our Stars”–a published work of art that turned into one of the highest gross selling movies of all time. If you come to think of it, this emotion, alongside all others recognized by humans, cannot be quantified–you cannot say that one’s pain is more excruciating than that of the other. And you cannot impose a one-way-out type of solution for someone who is dealing with it; people have their ways and reasons for coping–or not doing so.
No matter how prepared you are or not for its coming, the death of someone you love leaves an inexplicable kind of pain in your heart. You may feel like a victim of an unjust fate–that, with so many cruel perpetrators of crimes, it must be you that should suffer the grave consequences of being abandoned by a loved one. You may even reach a point where you ask the heavens why they didn’t take you instead. But in some circumstances, you may even see yourself in a void–no more tears left to cry, no more heartaches left to feel for a while. It’s just point-blank nothingness until things get heavier all at once that you feel like the world is turning against you.
Nonetheless, there are ways that experts in the field of psychology have uncovered to help someone alleviate the pain that they might be experiencing. Here are some of the ways how you can deal with the feeling of grief caused by a loss of a loved one:
1. Feel the emotion of grief
Contrary to the first stage of grief–the phase of denial–one of the greatest ways to make the emotion subside is by addressing its presence. If you try to contain that feeling, the more likely it is for the pain to accumulate and burst randomly as you reach your tipping point. Thus, you must let yourself grieve upon learning the unfortunate news that had happened. At these times, you must feel free to get a good cry in your personal space.
This is the reason why conversations on opening up vulnerabilities have been emerging in recent years, as spearheaded by mental health advocates. Their justification for doing so is that no one is built just to be purely happy–the combination of joy, sadness, anger, fear, and disgust make up the vibrant color of humanity.
2. Take your time grieving
Whether you’ve spent years creating memories with that loved one who passed away or you even didn’t have a chance to see them exist in this world such as infants who died in their mother’s womb, no one can ever dictate to you how much time you can spend grieving. You are free to feel your emotions even after their remains have been buried six feet under the ground.
It may take months or even years before you can say that you finally got over the pain–and still, with a random sign that triggers your memory of them, you experience a relapse. This is completely normal, progress in terms of surpassing the feeling of grief is never meant to be linear. Do not compare yourself to others and their way of coping with the melancholy that they have felt. You don’t need to entertain the sense of pressure that you may have been feeling around you.
3. Ask for support
You must be acquainted with the fact that your pain may engulf you the harder you force yourself to defeat it alone. There is no shame in reaching out and seeking help, whether it be from people whom you are comfortable with or from professionals. Grieving is never a sign of weakness, so voicing out what you think your needs are is a great step to addressing that emotion and eventually moving forward from it.
Once you have reached out, make sure to open yourself fully to them. Make sure that they can understand where you are coming from by asserting everything that is going on in your mind. Doing so can help them figure out what your needs are and how they are going to provide for them.
4. Strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle
In trying times like this, you need your own help the most. Other people can only do so much, but a large part of their help depends on you, whether you will be receptive or dismissive about it. Unfortunately, the world won’t stop revolving just because of someone’s death. It is an excruciating fact, but it is what it is. Hence, you must prepare yourself for living a life without that loved one of yours being physically present by your side.
As cliché as it sounds, things happen for a reason. That’s why you should never hesitate to take good care of yourself–it will break their hearts to see that because of them, you are neglecting yourself. As hard as it can be, eat an adequate amount of food and take a rest as long as you need it.
5. Grant yourself forgiveness
While grieving for their loss, you may feel like you are the reason why things ended up that way–because of the things that you did and the ones that you failed to do, this unfortunate event transpired. But as much as you would like to take all the blame for yourself, this would not bring back your loved one into life. There might be feelings of regret, but you must accept the fact that you cannot go back in time and rectify your actions. As a mortal being, there is only so much that you can do–and forgiving yourself amid dark times like this is a great help to move forward from the pain that you are feeling.
6. Give yourself a break
After spending a generous amount of time processing the grief that you are feeling, find something worthwhile to do to divert your attention from extreme sadness–pamper yourself, have a movie night with your friends, or go on a vacation. You must clear your mind to be able to determine what’s in store for you after getting through this unfortunate event. Giving yourself a break is also a way how you can keep your sanity and save yourself from drowning in unnecessary stress brought by the influx of thoughts that are coming through your mind.
7. Prepare for special occasions that will come
These are when strong feelings may come back since it is more likely that you will miss their presence in celebrating certain occasions such as holidays and birthdays. You must figure out in advance if your traditions will be kept or altered just for you to properly commemorate the matter that is being celebrated. Also, make sure to commemorate the memories of your loved one who passed away every now and then to relive the love that you two have shared.
Indeed, there is no easy way out of grieving. The best way to go is to feel every fragment of it and cry your soul out until it hurts no more. What happened will forever be part of history, but that does not mean that nothing good will ever go your way anymore–soon enough, better days will appear once again.
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