Losing someone close to you can be devastating. You may feel completely lost and alone or experience feelings of regret or guilt that make it difficult to cope with your loss. Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy, but there are steps you can take that will help you get through this challenging time in as healthy a way as possible.
The article below offers advice on how to cope after the death of a loved one, including recognising when you need professional help and making sure you have support from friends and family who know what it feels like to deal with loss.
What Are The Five Stages of Grief?
Everyone grieves differently; no grieving process is the same. Some take even years before they get past that stage. However, there’s a typical pattern when it comes to grieving, and Elisabeth Kübler Ross coined the five stages of grief:
Stage 1: Denial is a difficult feeling to process. You may feel like the event isn’t happening and that it’s not real, but this sends you into an emotional state where your body can’t handle all of what has happened at once because shock blocks out emotion for a while until reality sets in.
Stage 2: Anger happens as reality sets in. You may direct your anger to the person who died or the people around you. Anger happens because you’re finding it difficult to comprehend that the loss of a loved one is finally happening. It’s important not to let anger take over your life. However, this can lead to adverse effects on mental health, such as depression and anxiety.
Stage 3: Bargaining can be an attempt to come up with a solution, but often it’s just spent on thoughts of what could have been. You may think, “If only I had done this or that differently, then they would still be here!” and dwell in the misery of imagining your loved one’s life without you for years to come. This is typically followed by attempts at striking deals with higher powers: bargaining prayers asking them not to take away their loved one from them again or pleading for mercy when praying about death after losing someone close.
Stage 4: Depression is the feelings of overwhelming sadness and regretful thoughts that will begin to take hold of your life as you start understanding the significance of how this loss may change who you are or what goals you had for yourself before it happened. You might find that sleep becomes more complex and appetite drops significantly.
Stage 5: Acceptance is the final stage of grief that you come to accept your loss. Although still feeling sad, it becomes easier for one to move forward with life and not let their sadness hold them back from living a happy, fulfilling existence without any lingering feelings of regret or disappointment because they have done so much grieving already.
A person who lost a loved one may go full circle in these stages of grief because places, things can trigger their emotions, or objects that remiss them dearly of their loved one. The grieving person can feel the Kübler Ross model in different stages.
Is It Wrong to Grieve?
There’s something so natural about crying in the face of grief. It feels like a release after all that has been pent up inside, and it can be comforting to have someone who understands our feelings there with us on this journey. Death brings pain, after all.
So when it comes to grief, expressing oneself is more common in some lands than in others. Still, regardless of where you are or what society you live within as an individual grieving for their loved one, tears should not be considered a sign of weakness: they represent courage and strength during trying times – qualities we’d wish for ourselves if faced with such tragedy too!
How To Deal With Your Grief?
Accept Your Family and Friends’ Support – spending time with others can be significant. However, don’t allow yourself to get too dependent on the support of friends and family because it may not always be there for you when needed most. You should take up hobbies that challenge your mind to combat this issue so long as they are enjoyable at the same time!
Take Care of Your Diet and Exercise Regularly – grieving can take a toll on your mind and body, so eating healthy food, drinking water, and exercising in moderation are essential.
Get Plenty of Sleep – the roller coaster of emotions can induce fatigue, so you need to sleep.
Avoid Bad Habits – alcohol and drugs will never help you recover; in fact, it is a self-destructive habit that will bring in more problems.
Balance Your Time – between grieving, socialising, and recreation.
Have and Keep a Routine – regaining your sense of normalcy can happen when you occupy yourself with a good and healthy routine.
Take a Vacation – even just for a day. Have a change of pace by going somewhere else. Visit a museum or take a hike.
Help Others – your sense of purpose will be rejuvenated when you help others, especially those who lost their loved ones.
Reevaluate Your Life – now that you’re faced with a new reality, you may begin reevaluating your life by making adjustments in your priorities. Believe it or not, grief and bereavement can give you new perspectives on what matters.
Consult a Health Professional – if you think the pain is overwhelming and you just can’t do it yourself. They will give you proper advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
When a loved one passes away, it’s hard to imagine that there are many ways of regaining some sense of normalcy. However, with both time and effort, you can find comfort in your own life after the loss. There is no “right” way for everyone, but many people have found relief by taking specific steps like this article.
Comforting Those Who Grief
If your friend or loved one is still in the grieving process, what help can you give? You might have mixed feelings about what to do because you are clueless. Moreso, you might be experiencing the different stages of grief. But here are effective ways to show your love and care:
- Always be present because it shows that you care.
- Listen. Listen. Listen.
- Think before you speak.
- Offer practical help.
Lastly, be patient when you talk to your friend. Remember that they are feeling angry, so it is normal for them to say off-putting things. Your goal is to make them feel better even without saying a word. You can be a part of their healing process.
You Can Be Happy Again
Yes! When? That depends on you. When a person loses someone they love, there are moments where the grief is so intense that you can’t think about anything else. Still, eventually, most people come to the point of emotional balance, and some find it easier with support from their friends or family. They may still feel sad around anniversaries or memories, but little by little, those feelings will start to soften as time goes on.