Dealing with death isn’t easy. Whether it’s a relative, a friend, a pet, someone important in your life, loss is something that is just part of life. Here are some ways to help you cope.
• Feel your feelings. There is no time limit on how long it takes someone to grieve. While pain heals with time, the pain doesn’t ever go completely away if you care for someone and they are no longer here. Do NOT delay grief – its okay to cry if you feel like crying. It’s okay to feel loneliness and sadness. The sooner you give yourself permission to feel the loss, the healthier you will become in dealing with it.
• Journal. Do not underestimate the power of journaling. Not only is it healthy to write down your feelings, but this will help you monitor your own grief recovery process. For example – maybe you will see a pattern emerge that you feel sadness at a certain time of the day or are picking up certain bad habits in dealing with the grief or even shutting the rest of the world out in the process. A journal can reveal many things about what you are processing – from shock, denial, heartache, anger (from them leaving), and other abandonment issues. Having a good grasp on what you are experiencing will help you heal. It will also help you see progression of your processing your emotions on a weekly basis.
• Write a letter. Not everyone gets closure when there is a loss. Maybe you lost someone to a disease that rapidly took over, or lost someone in a car accident – if you lost someone suddenly, chances are you need to officially ‘say goodbye.’ Not everyone gets to say goodbye at a funeral or a memorial service the way they need to in order to heal or feel closure. So writing a letter with everything you always wanted to say, will help you release some of those things you’ve bottled up over time.
• Honor their memory. As cheesy as this may seem, because everybody says it – in order to respect the memory of the one you lost, you need to honor the good times you shared while they were here. Not only is this a healthy way to process the grief, but it is also a way to honor the life they had. This will make you realize that you were blessed just to have shared something with this person or pet and you will be able to free yourself from the negative energy and replace it with only the positive and healthy feelings that can help you carry onward.
• Take good care of yourself. During this time, your body is going through a lot of stress. It is important that you do not give up your daily routine – eating breakfast, exercising, getting plenty of fresh air and daylight, get decent sleep, interacting with your friends and family and going to work each day. The more you stick to your normal activities, the more you will be able to stay on track with carrying out the life that you have left. It is something your lost loved one would want you to do.
• Be patient – with yourself and others. Grieving takes time and it is important to allow yourself and others the time to mourn or grieve in their own way. Everybody handles this differently, so don’t judge how others process it. Some people may handle it more privately or do their own rituals to deal with it.
• Don’t hold onto guilt or anger. These are negative emotions and can weigh you down during your mourning process. While it is normal to feel these things, as they are human emotions, holding on tightly to negative feelings won’t help you move forward toward positive ones.
• Do something in honor of your lost loved one. Maybe the person you lost had a favorite charity or maybe they loved nature… whether you go volunteer at their favorite organization or make a donation – or simply plant a tree in your yard in honor of them, doing a gesture like this, helps you celebrate their life and what they stood for. This is a healthy thing to do for yourself and may help others around you who are also grieving; benchmark the person’s memory in a tribute-like way.
• Clean up. Everyone leaves behind a bunch of stuff. Keep in mind –this is all just STUFF, this is not them. Sure it was a part of them, but by donating some of their things to a charity can help you feel as if an extension of their lives is branching out to be of benefit to someone else. This in turn can not only keep their purpose going, but help you heal in the process. You can also recycle some of their things to keep a piece of them around to remember them by. Maybe they had a favorite T-shirt with a certain saying on it. Stuff the T-shirt and sew up the arm and neck holes and the shirt bottom and make a pillow. You can keep this ‘piece of them’ as a throw pillow on your favorite chair. This way every time you sit in the chair you can smile and think of them. It’s a nice way to remember someone. You can do this with a few of their other things and let everyone in the circle of grief have something (like their favorite coffee mug, plant a plant in it, etc.) and each of you will share something that was near and dear to your lost loved one.
• Live your life. This is important to do. And if grieving seems to be overwhelming your life after a certain period of time, consider grief counseling. You are not alone and this is normal. Some people have a harder time dealing with death than others. You may be one of them. Take your journal you’ve been keeping so you can work through the process. And remember that you are here left behind for a reason… to carry on.
© 2010 Queena Verbosity 100% Real Words
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