The loss of a loved one triggers a natural response called grief, which manifests itself differently from one person to another. Learning how to deal with grief can be a great challenge, and we want to help you. Although there is no absolute formula on how to deal with the passing of a loved one, here are our top 10 ways to help combat grief.
1. Accept that people grieve differently
Expecting people to feel and react the same way as you can decelerate your recovering journey. Some people will be effected more than you while others may seemingly be privy to any physical emotions, even if you're sharing level of pain. Therefore, you cannot compare your situation with that of others. If your emotions overwhelm you, do not feel as if you are overreacting just because other people are not showcasing the same amount of emotions. Allow yourself to suffer the way you feel right at that moment.
Tip: Do not compare yourself to others, allow yourself to grieve the way you want
Tip: Everyone deals with grief differently
2. Share your grief with others – when you’re ready
Know that you're not a burden. Sharing how you feel with those you love will make you feel better. Bottling up your emotions can yield a tremendous amount of stress that can compound on top of the other life stresses you may have. In many cases, internalizing all the pain makes the situation worse and can adversely effect the healing process. The healing process can only truly begin the moment you allow yourself to grieve. Your family and friends’ support can significantly help you heal faster than you had anticipated.
Tip: Everyone experiences such tragedy, they have no problem being their for you as you will be (or have been) for them
Tip: You can find facebook groups of others who recently lost a loved one and are experiencing similar pain – this is a great way to share experiences of your loved one with others
3. Visit places of memory
There is almost nothing more powerful than reminiscing on the good times you have shared with your loved one. Whether you are physically going to your loved one’s favorite locations or if you allowing yourself to get lost in your memories, you can embrace the happy moments you spent with one another. Remember the times of laughter, the moments of truly enjoying each other’s company, and think about how grateful you are to have been able to share such experiences with someone so meaningful.
Tip: Write these memories in a journal
Tip: Go over images and/or enjoy any video/audio recordings you may have
Tip: Talk to your loved one
Tip: Visit their grave, or a location that reminds you the most of your loved one
4. Do not isolate yourself
Keep yourself surrounded. There is nothing wrong with asking for help and accepting support from people in your life especially when experiencing this level of hardship. Some would rather keep it all to themselves which can become emotionally detrimental and at times, overwhelming. Being around others can help you keep your mind off of the pain while focusing on living in the moment. It is essential to be around others you love and to not isolate yourself.
Tip: Stay away from alcohol and drugs, this only masks the pain
Tip: Do not isolate yourself, be around friends and family
Tip: Therapists can help
5. Know that it is okay to feel vulnerable
It is important to know that feeling sad, lost and vulnerable is normal when you have lost a loved one. Enduring this pain is no easy task – in fact, undergoing the passing of someone close is voted by many as one of the greatest challenges in our lives. Athough there is no exact blueprint of recovery, allowing yourself to accept that you are suffering and knowing that nobody is judging you for it is a great way to jumpstart your journey.
6. Get yourself a memorial gift
Memorial Gifts are a great way to remind yourself of the good times you’ve had with your loved one. There are many types of mementos available on the market, whether it be cremation or memorial pendants, personalized charms, engraved rings, picture lockets, and much more. Creating a lovely final resting place for your loved one such as a beautiful cremation urn or picture frames as a small sanctuary can help. Or even something as small as making your phone’s wallpaper a picture of your loved one or making your passwords relate in some fashion can greatly help. There are many options to explore and knowing that you’re always surrounded by your loved one can help expedite the road to recovery.
Tip: Click here to see Memorial Jewelry
Tip: Click here to see Cremation Urns
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7. Go out and experience something new
Let’s face it, your loved one does not want you to sit in anguish. Instead, they would want you to live life to the fullest, and cross off any wishes or goals you had on your bucket list. Perhaps a spontaneous trip full of excitement, new experiences, and new friends is what you’ve always longed for. Whatever your aspirations may be, nothing is more fulfilling than making them come to life. This is what your loved one would want – you to be happy and to accomplish the goals you have always wanted to.
8. Keep up with your routine
Keeping on schedule is crucial to recovering. You want to try your best to stay busy, especially at the beginning. Do you have holes in your routine? Do you want to change it up a bit? Do it. You can always add a new hobby, add gym time, or even do volunteer work. It’s understandable that your routine will get a bit shaken up – but don’t worry – this only gives you the opportunity to add those activities you’ve always wanted to do.
Tip: Try new hobbies, or pursue your existing hobbies
Tip: Try your loved one’s favorite hobbies
Tip: Do a quiet activity like walking, running, fishing – this will help you stay active while also giving you some time to think about the good memories you had with your loved one
9. Allow yourself time to heal
Know that the recovering process can be a long journey – the first couple of months will be the hardest since this type of pain is one that has never been felt. Finding a way to justify what happened and understanding the emotional maze you are about to discover can be incredibly challenging. Know that everything will get better…. Give it some time. Also note that you need to allow yourself some time to heal, but you need to first accept that you are experiencing pain and that you are grieving. Once you do this, your journey can now begin. Be sure to go at the pace you need to go, do not rush this.
Tip: Know that you will not have answers at the beginning
Tip: Many people look into faith to help with healing
Tip: Follow all the steps in this article to expedite this process
10. Reflect and Celebrate
Wish your loved one was still here? They are. They’re in your heart, your mind, your thoughts, your stories, and your memories. You will be reminded of them every now and then – by their favorite song playing randomly on the radio, a quick smell of their scent, their favorite bird may take a rest in the tree in front of you, or you may have a lucid dream of spending time with them. Take some time every now and then to reflect on the good memories you’ve shared with your loved one. Talk to them, laugh with them, and do everything in your power to remember them. Celebrate any moment as if theyre still here – like birthdays or annivarsaries.
Tip: Want to really take it up a notch? Do good things in your loved one’s name – start a charity, a foundation, a scholarship.
Tip: Perhaps you want to remember them at a physical location, like a memorial bench overlooking their favorite lake or building a park in their name.
Tip: Visit them often, physically or emotionally
There is no greater loss in this world than the death of a loved one. The top 10 tips above will help pave the way to the road of recovery. Expect the journey to be long and difficult, but you are strong and resilient so you will be able to overcome the pain. Learning to embrace and recall the good memories and the unconditional love you had with your loved one will be the most effective tool you can use to combat grief.