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.