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Five ways to handle loss after a loved one dies
1 week, 3 days ago Posted in: Blog 0

Coping with the loss of a close friend or family member may be one of the most difficult challenges many of us face. When we lose a spouse, sibling, or parent, our grief can be particularly intense. Loss is understood as a natural part of life. However, we can still be overcome by shock and confusion, leading to prolonged periods of sadness or depression.

Everyone reacts differently to death and uses unique coping mechanisms for grief. Research shows that most people can recover from loss on their own over time if they have social support and healthy habits.

Here are 5 ways to handle loss after someone passes:

1. Accept your feelings.
Facing your emotions is healthy and essential for healing. You may feel sadness, anger, anxiety, or guilt. All of these reactions and feelings are normal. Every emotion has a message regarding an underlying need that can help you heal. It’s OK to be sad and feel a sense of loss and allow yourself to experience joy and happiness.

2. Talk with those close to you about the death of your loved one.
Let others know, such as friends or colleagues, what you are going through. This helps you understand what happened and keeps you connected with your loss. Avoiding your feelings can lead to isolation and will disrupt the healing process. Find someone who’ll encourage you to talk about your loss. You might schedule a gathering or a visit with friends or loved ones when you’re likely to feel alone or be reminded of your loved one’s death.

3. Take care of yourself.
The grieving process often takes a toll on your body. Get plenty of sleep, eat healthy foods, and exercise. Healing walks in a park among nature is soothing. These self-care actions can help you recover physically and emotionally.

4. Help others who are also dealing with the loss.
You may be isolating yourself with grief. Helping others benefits you by making you feel better. Spending time with loved ones who also are grieving the loss can help everyone cope. You can share stories or listen to music, that was your loved one’s favorites.

5. Keep the memories and celebrate the life of your loved one.
Anniversaries of someone you’ve lost are challenging times for friends and family. These times are essential for remembering and honoring those you’ve loved. Write a letter to your loved one or a note about some of your good memories. You might collect donations to a favorite charity of the person who died, pass on a family name to a baby, or plant a “memory-garden”. Honoring your loved one keeps the happy memories alive with an appreciation of your unique relationship. Do so in a way that feels right to you.

If your grief gets worse over time instead of better or interferes with your ability to function in daily life, consult a grief counselor or other mental health provider. Unresolved or complicated grief can lead to depression, other mental health problems, and other medical conditions. With professional help, you can re-establish a sense of control and direction in your life — and return to the path toward healing.

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