Dealing With Your Own Grief

Your Grief — Dealing with the Loss of a Loved One

Handling Your GriefThere is no “right” way to keep functioning in the midst of losing a loved one.

Friends and family will have good intentions and want to ease your pain, and while they can certainly help – the reality is that this is your grief and it can be overwhelming to you.

While we think the most important thing you can do is to not isolate yourself from others, we have a few more suggestions for dealing with your own grief:

  • Be involved in planning the funeral service.
  • Some cultures, such as the Chinese, Mexican, and Irish encourage keening, or loud wailing.
  • Keep in contact with friends.
  • Don’t ignore your feelings. Talk about how you feel with friends and family.
  • Avoid spending a lot of time with friends who are also in a grieving period. This can lead to deeper depression.
  • Listen to music. This will help you access your feelings.
  • Spend time outdoors.
  • If you have a hobby spend some extra time doing it.
  • Exercise is important because it causes metabolic changes that can help relieve sadness.
  • Avoid drinking or drug use to escape your emotions.
  • If your emotions seem out of control you, don’t hesitate to talk to a therapist. Many people need help adjusting to the loss of a loved one.
  • Recognize that you’re not a victim. Everyone has a right to grieve over a loss — however minor or significant. Feeling that your loss — whatever it may be — is more significant than others’ losses keeps you stuck and prevents you from enjoying new, happier moments.
  • To overcome grief ask, “How can I make a difference?” rather than “Why did this happen to me.” It is very difficult to deal with the loss of a loved one. The grieving period is painful. However, keep in mind that it’s normal to feel pain, and that, given time, it will subside.

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