Coping with the death of a loved one

Coping with the death of someone you love or care about is a very painful experience. People who have lost someone who was very dear to them experience a range of difficult emotions and it may feel as if the sadness and pain will never end. This is a normal reaction and each individual grieves in their own way and how long this process lasts will also depend on the individual.

If you have suffered the loss of a loved one you should allow yourself to feel pain and other emotions – no one should tell you how to feel because it is different for each individual. Do not judge yourself by what others have experienced. Be patient and allow yourself time to work through your emotions. There is no set time limit for when the grieving process should end. Acknowledge your feelings, even if you don’t like them.

The support of friends and family can help during this time. Talking about your memories, loss and the life and death of your loved one can help. It may also help to talk to others who have experienced a similar loss.

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Joining a bereavement support group will help you find other people who can provide, comfort, guidance and encouragement. They will also be able to offer practical information and advice and help you to feel less alone. If there is no local group near you then try online as such groups can also be helpful.

Do not be afraid to seek professional help if you feel you need it. Bereavement counseling is a special form of professional help and it may be available through hospice services or by referral from a health care provider. Such counseling can reduce the levels of distress a mourner feels, helping them through the grieving process and adjustment to a new life without the loved one.

You will need to decide whether you want to opt for cremation or burial. Planning a funeral be a daunting task, but with professional help from funeral service providers the process can be made easier. It is up to you how simple or elaborate you want the funeral to be. If you want to do most of the arrangements yourself there are many online guides which will help you through the process.

Finally, it is also important to look after yourself. Try to maintain a normal lifestyle. Avoid making major changes in your life such as moving, starting or ending relationships and changing jobs. This will help you to maintain your roots and feel more secure. Look after yourself by trying to live healthily, eat well and exercise. Physical activity can help relieve stress and tension, and treats such as hot baths, favorite foods and naps can help renew you.

Excessive drinking and drugs should be avoided as this may cause other problems and slow the grieving process. Forgive yourself for things that you may have said or not said and give yourself a break from grieving. Preparing for birthdays, anniversaries and holidays can help. You may decide to keep some traditions or start new ones. Doing something to honor the memory of your loved one can help.


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