Dealing with Grief: A Personal Experience
The way we deal with grief is a personal experience that varies among individuals.
When someone loses a loved one, he or she may expect to grieve in a similar way to others around them or may compare their grieving experience to that of others. But grief is not a step-by-step process that one can master with focus and practice – it’s a personal experience that varies from one person to the next. Still there are some guidelines that may make the process easier for you …
Dealing with grief and the loss of a loved one:
Remember, everyone experiences grief differently
Some people cry, others scream. Some people mourn quietly, others pray. Some seek out the comfort of family members or friends, while others prefer to remain alone. Some write out their feelings or memories, others tell stories about their loved one. However you grieve, remember there is no right or wrong way.
Don’t get thrown off by emotional ups and downs
Our grief responses are not always triggered the moment we learn of our loved one’s death – our grief may be delayed or alternatively may begin even before our loved one has died. Don’t be surprised or upset if it takes days or weeks before you truly begin the mourning process. Perhaps at that point, we’re no longer able to deny the loss of our loved one or we begin experiencing flashbacks. It’s important not to be hard on ourselves when we find ourselves on an emotional roller-coaster. It does get easier, but don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day or week.
Throw out the myths you’ve heard about grieving
There are so many myths related to grieving and dealing with loss – like the notion that the pain you’re experiencing would be less intense if you just kept busy. Forget all those misconceptions, and remember that everyone grieves differently.
Try grieving in a healthier way
When we feel upset, frustrated, lost, or incomplete, our natural instinct may be to find some “happy” somewhere else. Don’t replace your lost loved one with unhealthy placeholders. No matter what you try to distract yourself with, the sorrow will remain until you allow yourself to experience the grief. Instead, try sharing happy memories or funny stories, especially when you’re feeling worst. And be good to yourself – get eight hours of sleep, drink lots of water, eat well, and take walks outside.
Don’t forget your loved one
Moving on does not mean forgetting about your loved one or burying all of your memories. Hold onto to those precious memories, and try to manage your thoughts so you can move forward with your own life in a healthy way.
Do you have any additional pieces of advice for those grieving the death of a loved one? What worked for you and what didn’t? Tell us in the comments area below.
Leah Yomtovian Roush is the Senior Manager of Strategic Development for Cleveland, Ohio-based eFuneral, a comprehensive and free online resource that enables those thinking about end-of-life to research, plan, and arrange a wide variety of funeral-related services. Leah is the editor of eFuneral's Online Resource Center, and she manages the company's marketing efforts and develops strategies for company growth. Leah also serves on the Boards of multiple non-profit organizations, helping them expand their reaches and increase their impacts.