Coping with the loss of a loved one


One of the hardest things anyone can endure is losing a loved one. While life will never be the same after a loss, it’s critical to give yourself time to acknowledge, experience and work through your grief. No two people grieve the same way, and grieving often takes more time than we let on. If you are coping with the loss of a loved one or know someone who is, the following resources may be helpful to you:

  • Get Support
    According to Help Guide,  “the  single  most  important  factor  in  healing  from  loss  is  having  the  support  of  other  people.  Even  if  you  aren’t  comfortable  talking  about  your  feelings  under  normal  circumstances,  it’s  important  to  express  them  when  you’re  grieving.”  Friends  and  family  want  to  support  you.  Talk  with  them  about  your  feelings  and  ask  them  for  help  with  things  that  may  cause  additional  stress  like  cooking  meals,  babysitting  or  making  funeral  arrangements.  Joining  a  support  group,  talking  to  a  therapist  or  grief  counselor  can  also  help.
  • Understand how grief may impact you
    Understand the emotional, physical, social and  spiritual  ways  that  grief  may  affect  you, but  remember  there  are  no  right  or  wrong  ways  to  grieve.  Be  patient  with  yourself  and  don’t  try  to  “be strong”  in  the  face  of  loss. Take  care  of  yourself.  Try  your  best  to  maintain  a  normal  routine  and  a  healthy  lifestyle  by  getting  enough  sleep,  eating  well  and  exercising.
  • Celebrate your loved one 
    Talking about your favorite memories, sharing photos, and doing an activity your loved one enjoyed all help the grieving process.
  • Give yourself time 
    You will always mourn  the  loss  of  a  loved  one  but  your  feelings  of  grief  should  get  better  with  time.  Remember  there  are  no  shortcuts  for  grieving,  and  do  not  let  anyone  tell  you  how  you  should  be  feeling  or  acting.
  • Honor your loved one's legacy 
    Many people find that volunteering, or doing something good  for  their  community  in  memory  of  their  loved  one  like  donating  their  favorite  books  to  a  library  or  planting  a  memorial  garden  has  helped  them  cope  with  a  loss.
  • Know  the  difference  between  grief  and  clinical  depression 
    It's  easy  to  confuse  grief  with  depression.  If  you  are  not  feeling  better  over  time,  feel  constantly  hopeless  and disconnected refer to this list of common symptoms of clinical depression and contact a mental health professional immediately.