When you lose someone important to you, it is heartbreakingly tough. It may also be challenging for the people around you if they are unsure of what to say or do to support you.
Grief is a natural response to the loss of someone special in our lives. Unfortunately it is not understood well in our society – and many people avoid, deny, postpone or even ignore this important process in life.
For the person who has suffered the loss, there will be significant adjustments. And these will bring with them a mix of emotions that may include shock, denial, anger, fear, sadness, depression, uncertainty, and sometimes, relief. Routines are likely to be affected, moods may shift and change will manifest itself in a variety of ways. All of this is part of the grieving process.
Looking After Yourself
It’s important to be gentle with yourself during this time. Seek out support and allow others to help you. Accept that it’s normal to grieve – and to feel the intensity of emotions that go with it. Most likely you will find that some days are better than others, and that there is a real ebb and flow to your feelings.
You may find it helpful to be able to express your grief, either privately or with someone you’re close to. Keeping a diary, or creating a ritual or memorial in honour of the person you’ve lost may give you comfort. Reading about other people’s experiences of loss and how they coped may help, as can staying physically active and getting outdoors.
Try to incorporate something you find soothing – this may be meditating, aromatherapy or even a massage. If sleeplessness is a problem, limit alcohol, and avoid eating a meal too close to bedtime. Try to stick to a routine before sleeping, and exercise during the day to help you sleep better.
If you have experienced the death of a loved one, you are not alone. Visit the many organisations who specialise in offering support, grief counselling, resources and understanding just for people like you.