Although grieving the loss of a loved one is a personal journey there are many strategies which may help. Below are just a few:
• Talk about the loss of your family member, friend or pet with friends, family or colleagues in order to try and make sense of what happened and to remember them. By denying the loss it can result in feeling isolated from others. Other means of finding support following a loss may include joining a support group, using social media or talking to a mental health professional.
• Accept your feelings. You can try and supress your grief, but you cannot avoid it forever. In order to heal it’s often best to acknowledge the pain. People experience all kinds of emotions after a loss. Sadness, anger, frustration and even exhaustion are normal. You may find value in expressing your feelings in a tangible or creative way. And do not let anyone tell you how to feel, and do not tell yourself how to feel either. Your grief is your own.
• Look after your health. The mind and body are connected and when you feel good physically, you will hopefully feel better emotionally. Eating well, exercising and getting plenty of rest may help you get through each day and move forward. With that said, try to avoid alcohol or drugs to ‘numb’ the pain of grief or lift your mood artificially.
Human beings are naturally resilient and even though it is normal to feel sad, numb or angry following a loss and then continue on with our lives. If you feel as though your grief is getting worse over a time, making it difficult to carry out normal day-to-day activities you may benefit from the assistance of a psychologist or another registered mental health professional that are trained to assist with resilience, sadness, fear, guilt, anxiety that can be associated with the death of a loved one.
The important thing to remember with grieving is to “Let yourself feel whatever you feel without embarrassment or judgement. It’s okay to be angry, to yell at the heavens, to cry or not to cry. It’s okay to laugh, to find moments of joy, and to let go when you are ready.”