When a loved one dies, it seems like a part of you dies with them- or maybe not, maybe every part of you dies. Amaya was 15 when she lost her dad to cancer. She was in class when the principal called her out to inform her that her father had passed on. She is now 32 but the memory is so fresh. “It feels like I am stuck in a loop and I just cannot move on from what happened.”
How can she though? The death of a loved one leaves us with nothing but an hollow heart that will never be whole again. It makes us question if things may ever be the same again and sadly- it can’t. Adjusting your life without them can become a difficult thing to do, its something you don’t want to do.
It is therefore not surprising that many people try to cushion the effect of the grief with the popular maxim that “death is inevitable”. Not only this, they turn to various places to find comfort, even if it takes a toll on their health.
In this article, we will discuss how to cope with the grieve that comes with losing the one you love.
Shun Self-destructive Habits
When a loved one dies, some believe that engaging in destructive habits can help them manage the pain. Truth be told, it may provide some temporary relief but what happens after then? Destructive habits like smoking, drinking, gambling, taking drugs should be strongly avoided. It may be hard to stay off these especially when the pain is a little much to bear but you need to understand that whatever destructive coping mechanism you engage in will leave you feeling worse. There are lots of calm activities you can engage in to help you ease your anxieties and we have highlighted some in this article.
Surround Yourself with Family and Friends
Some therapists consider this to be the most important factor in getting through grief. Support from family members and true friends will go a long way in helping you manage the grief. Though it may seem overwhelming having a lot of people around you and that is okay. Do not feel like you have to be around others all the time. You can let them know that you need some time alone. Find a balance between time alone and time with other people.
You also need to understand that your family and friends truly care about you so if you ever feel like you need to express yourself to anyone, approach a trusted family member or a friend and open up without being afraid.
Understand your coping strategy
Everyone grieves differently and you need to understand what strategy works best for you. Do not compare yourself with others. Do not ever do that. Also, never allow anyone to pressure you into “getting over it” as soon as possible. Many find that expressing their grief to others helps them deal with it, while others prefer not to express their grief.
Experts have various opinions as to whether expressing one’s feelings is vital to success in coping with grief. If you need to confide in someone but are hesitant to do so, you might find it easier to start small by expressing some of your feelings to a close friend.
Some people find that crying helps them deal with their grief, while others seem to cope even though they cry less.
Keep the Memory Alive
Do things to keep the memory of your loved one alive. You might find it helpful to collect pictures or create a journal of events and stories you may wish to recall. You can also store items that trigger pleasant memories and look through them later, when you feel ready to do so. Do not make the mistake of giving away all the items that remind you of your loved one hoping that you may feel better once they are out of sight. You may regret it later when you miss them so much and have absolutely nothing that reminds you of them.
Eat well and Exercise enough
When a loved one dies, it may help to eat well. A balanced diet will help with the stress that comes from dealing with grief. Try to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Drink plenty of water and other healthful liquids.
If your appetite is low, eat small portions more frequently. You may also ask your doctor about nutrition supplements. Brisk walks and other forms of exercise can lessen negative emotions. Exercise can provide time to reflect on your loss or to take a break from thinking about it.
Sleep is always important, but this is especially so for those who are grieving, as grief can bring extra fatigue. Be careful with the amount of caffeine and alcohol you consume, as both can interfere with your sleep.
You are Not Alone
When a loved one dies, our lives may get put on hold and it may seem like things may never be the same again. Understand that you are not alone in this and you have friends and family members to comfort you. Do not be afraid to reach out to them whenever you need to.
Life without your loved one may never be the same again but take comfort in knowing that what they would ever want is for you to be happy. Thus, cherish the memories you had with them and whenever grief tries to steal the beauty of your memories, remember that Love Never Dies.