There is nothing easy about loss. It’s painful and causes us to experience myriad emotions. After losing a loved one, it is important to remember that the healing will take time and, while you will never forget that person, the pain will eventually subside. Here are a few steps, however, to help you cope with the loss.
Lean on friends and family for support. Your friends and family want to be there to support you, so don’t hesitate to let them be the shoulder to cry on. Also, because everyone’s needs are different as they cope with loss, your family may need a little guidance. Don’t be afraid to tell them what you need.
Don’t be afraid to seek outside help. For some, especially those dealing with sudden loss, it may be beneficial to talk to a professional trained in grief counseling. Support groups also offer a safe environment in which you can express your grief.
Take care of yourself. Grief manifests itself in different ways: anger, depression, weight loss, weight gain, etc. It’s important to force yourself to take care of yourself, even when doing so becomes difficult. Cope with stress and depression by getting plenty of sleep, eating right, and exercising. Also, try to avoid numbing the pain by “self-medicating” with drugs or alcohol.
Rely on your faith. If you are a spiritual person, take comfort in your faith. Religious rituals and prayer can provide solitude and something for you to hold on to as you cope.
Write it down. Putting your emotions down on paper is a great method of processing your feelings. Journaling can help you express your most personal thoughts as you grieve. Letter writing is a viable option if you feel there are things you wish you could have shared.
Take time for yourself. While it is important to surround yourself with friends and not cut yourself off from the world, it is equally important to take time to yourself. Meditation, yoga, and reading are just a few options to take time out and unwind from the stress you are experiencing. It is important to remember that your grieving is a process and that you have to give yourself the space to express those feelings in order to heal.
Sometimes, sharing your story with others can be mutually beneficial. At Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, we offer a Bereavement Support Group that meets each Thursday at 5 pm. For more information, call 1-888-256-7692.