12 Ways To Cope With Grief After Losing A Loved One
It may sound cliché and be used far too often in the death care industry but it’s true, the loss of a loved one is never easy. Regardless of if the person went quickly and unexpectedly or had long been suffering and finally left, the pain is not different. It’s there. And it sucks. Dealing with grief is something that is never easy but eventually subsides when you learn how to cope with a loss.
Another overused cliché is that everyone deals with loss differently. You know what, this one is true too though. While some may keep their emotions intact and put on a brave face, inside they’re most likely dealing with a mess of emotions. The flip side to this is the person who wears their heart on their sleeve and lets everyone see how they’re feeling. No matter what category you fall into, you should know that the pain you are feeling may seem insurmountable right now, but you are about to embark down a journey of grief that has been travelled by a countless number of others. While the path may not always be the same, eventually everyone arrives at the same destination.
The first year without someone you love will not be easy. You’re going to need to lean on others for support, feel alone at times, and some days just feel empty inside. These are all parts of the journey. That first year may seem like an eternity, but there are ways to deal with the pain you’re experiencing and learn to cope with the loss.
While everyone may experience grief differently, these 12 solutions may help you through the grieving process and make that first year a little bit easier.
Far too often people don’t take enough time to just be sad. They see others magically get over the loss and feel like something is wrong because they are still upset about it. Take your time and don’t rush, if you need to spend a week or two crying and watching sad movies on repeat, do it.
Spend Time By Yourself
To build off the last point, it’s important to spend time by yourself. If you’ve lost someone that was a major part of your life, others may want to keep you company because they’re trying to help. This can get overwhelming though because grieving is something personal. It’s ok to let people know you need some time to yourself to just reflect, relax, and work through your emotions.
Stop Relying On Vices
Maybe a having a drink or enjoying a smoke is one of the ways you relax. Don’t rely on it though as a way to cope with the pain you’re feeling. While it may temporarily numb the pain, it just leads to further problems. A sad but common occurrence is people turning to alcohol and other vices to cope with loss and end up suffering from health issues and further isolating themselves from others.
No one works out and feels worse afterwards. While it may not be easy, exercise and being active will get you moving, breathing deeply, and focused on something else. Even if you have a bad workout, you’ll still get a rewarding feeling knowing you did something to help your mind and your body.
Eat What They Loved To Eat
It’s called comfort food for a reason. When food tastes good, it makes you feel better. Was there a specific food your loved one loved to eat? Eating their favourite meal will allow you to feel closer to them and reminisce over good times with them.
Learn Something New
Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn how to do? Now is the time. Whether it’s learning a new skill like cooking or pottery, volunteering with community organizations, or joining a recreation sports league; get out there and expose yourself to something new.
Honor Their Memory
Try to do something to pay tribute to your loved one. This could be as simple as making a donation in their name or decorating their grave with flowers. If your loved one was cremated, you may want to spread their ashes in a special place like on their favourite hiking trail or by a lake they loved to visit. Just make sure to check with the proper authorities before you spread the ashes in a public space.
Take A Trip
Sometimes you just need to get away for a bit. Going on a trip can allow you time to relax and help give you a new perspective on life. Maybe there was somewhere you always talked about going together, take a trip there. You don’t have to go with anyone either, travelling by yourself may allow you time to explore and learn new things about yourself.
Write Them Letters
Sometimes the easy way to express how you are feeling is to just write it down. By crafting letters to your loved one, you can express the emotions you are feeling and begin to deal with them. It may also be comforting just writing letters to keep them updated with what is going on in your life as well. You don’t need to share them with anyone either, they’re just for you and your loved one.
Get Lost In Other’s Stories
Take up reading and read a lot. Or, if reading isn’t your thing, binge watch some Netflix. While this may not be the healthiest suggestion, getting lost in the stories of other’s will allow you an outlet to escape for a bit. It gives you something else to focus on and stop grieving for a little while.
Live Like They Did
One of the best ways to feel closer to your loved one is by doing the things they loved to do. Consider creating a bucket list of things you would like to accomplish. Maybe they had a signature dish everyone loved, commit to learning how to make it just like them. Was there a certain skill or activity they loved to do? Take it up and learn to do it as good as they did.
Celebrate The Milestones
When the big holidays and anniversaries come up, celebrate them. These are times to gather with friends and family and be together. While your loved one may not be there, treat it as an opportunity to share stories about them and celebrate the things they loved most about those celebrations.
What advice do you have for dealing with grief? Let us know in the comment section below!
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