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The tragedy of bereavement is never going to be easy to deal with. Probably one of the most difficult things to cope with is that while your world feels like it has been blown apart, life goes on for everyone else. There is no right or wrong way to handle losing a loved one and what works for some may not work for others. Below are some tips which have helped me to pull through the loss of those close to me, so you too may find them useful;
Allow yourself time to grieve
Grieving is a natural part of the process. There are no set guidelines on how long you should grieve for. If you go to school, college or work full time, rushing back too soon may compound your stress. This could eventually lead to you being off for longer. If you need to take a break from your day- to- day routine then do so. Most employers have policies to support you with this but if not, your doctor will be able to help. In contrast you might find that keeping yourself busy is more effective for you.
Grief can be a rollercoaster. Often you will be fine for a period of time and then you will have a day or two where you’re missing your loved one and feel really low before feeling better again. In all honesty the grieving process may never end but you will find better ways to deal with it. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get back to “normal” and take each day as it comes.
Remember the good times
Talk about your loved one as frequently as you feel with family and friends. Keeping their memory alive can often make you feel better. You may wish to visit their memorial on milestones or when you feel like being close to them. Some people prefer not to visit the memorial often as they don’t find it comforting. This doesn’t mean you miss them any less. Do what’s right for you.
Think about what they would want you to achieve
Sometimes when you lose someone close to you, it can feel like life has lost some meaning and you may feel like giving up. One of the main things which can help you to pull through is remembering that your loved one would want you to be happy and would want to know that you achieved the things you set out to do in life. Draw strength from this as it will help you to keep pushing on.
I remember when my mum passed away, I felt like I wanted to escape. So that’s what I did… I started running. It’s no secret that exercise is good for us but it can also be really therapeutic. Whilst running may not be your thing, you might consider picking up an alternative such as yoga or even just walking. Exercising will help you to work through the range of emotions you are experiencing.
Talk to someone
Bottling up your feelings is never healthy in any situation. If you are feeling low, confide in a friend or family member. You may also consider talking to an independent professional as they may be able to offer you a different insight or perspective. If you are in education, you can find out if there is a counsellor who is attached to your school, college or University who you can talk to . Similarly if you’re working, many employers run an employees assistance programme which you will be able to tap into. Alternatively, you can speak to your doctor who will be able help or refer you on to a specialist.
It’s never easy moving on after losing someone close to you but just remember that they would want nothing more than to see you enjoying yourself and living life to the fullest.
As always thanks for reading