Losing a loved one is an inevitable part of life, and it is never an easy situation. Death may end a life, but it doesn’t end the relationship you had with that person. As a result, you must journey through grief, which is a completely individual experience. Some may experience a flurry of emotions on a daily basis, while others encounter grief a couple years later. It can be hard to find strength during this time, but there are strategies that make coping with loss a little easier.
What Is Grief?
Unfortunately, there is not a blanket statement that explains grief. It’s a unique experience for every individual who encounters it. At times, it can feel impossible to get out of bed. One day, you may want to throw something at a wall to break it. There are even times when you may experience a strange sense of calm. This is why psychologists emphasize patience during a grieving period, which often occurs after the loss of a loved one.
It’s common to find yourself in a state of bewilderment or disorientation as a result of grief. Some of the most common emotional symptoms include shock, sadness, numbness, guilt, anger, helplessness, denial, confusion, and yearning. There is no right or wrong way to grieve because it’s not typical from one person to the next. Because of this, there is no correct approach for grief management. There are, however, several coping strategies that may help you deal with loss in a healthier way. Continue reading to learn more about these strategies.
Express Your Grief
You cannot bury grief deep within yourself; it’s something that’s best dealt with by letting it out. Cry, scream, or yell if you feel that it helps you. It may also be beneficial to express your emotions through art, writing, meditation, or music. Choose the outlet that helps you honor your grief, but also work through it and you’ll find it easier to express your feelings.
Make Time For Introspection/Reflection
The world may not make sense after a loss, which some researchers deem a “crisis of meaning.” Reconstructing meaning may be the healthiest way to move forward. In order to do this, you can make an important change in your life, ideally a change that makes you feel like you are moving forward. When this happens, the loss of a loved one can feel like a catalyst that helps you devote more time to the things that matter most.
Grief can be quite exhausting because it takes a lot of energy to express yourself and feel all of the necessary emotions. The intensity of losing someone takes a lot out of the body as well. For this reason, it’s beneficial to allow lots of time for everyday activities. Rest when you need to and don’t over-schedule yourself, as you don’t want to be so busy that you avoid grief.
Talk About It
Nobody should ever feel embarrassed about their emotions, especially after losing someone. Some people don’t want to cry in front of others or talk about their loss, so they bottle everything up. Everyone has their own journey and they open up when they’re ready or in an emotionally healthy state. If you don’t feel comfortable talking with friends or family, it may be beneficial to talk to a professional. Death has a huge impact on a person’s life and it’s important to open up and feel vulnerable and emotional. Talk your way through grief and you may progress towards some semblance of normal.
Have Some Fun
It’s very common for grieving people to avoid anything fun, or things that bring joy. Sharing a laugh with someone or enjoying a new activity does not dishonor the memory of a loved one. Laughter is one of nature’s best forms of medicine. Some people like to surround themselves with family, animals, or new hobbies that make them smile more often.
“Letting go” and “moving on” may not be the best strategies to deal with the loss of a loved one. More and more research suggests that it’s best to continue the bond you had with the deceased person. It may be healthy to let go of certain things, but not of the person entirely. You can stay connected or maintain bonds by talking to the dead (either within or out loud), talking with people who knew the deceased, or even sensing their presence.
Join A Support Group
If your struggles with loss persist, it can be healthy to make the journey with others who are also dealing with grief. Grief can sometimes be harder after the loss of a child, spouse, or parent. Joining a support group may help you gain strength and process grief while gaining new allies. It can also help you build up the courage to openly talk about the loss, which may put you on a healthier path. You may connect with similar stories from the group and help each other.