There is no greater agony as that of having your loved one being taken away. The unfairness of the incident leaves one with a mix of feelings such as that of anger, guilt and profound sorrow. What makes this grief even worse is when the loss is sudden and out of the blue. Though the pain is inevitable, there are definitely few things that can make this process a little less difficult.
- 1. Be in touch with your feelings:
It is quite natural to experience a wide range of emotions ranging from anger, guilt, anxiety, and exhaustion to at times even relief. One common mistake we all knowingly or unknowingly do is to avoid facing these emotions. On the contrary when you are in sync with your emotions and you are able to recognize the way you are feeling, they become less overwhelming and more manageable.
Yet if you find yourself struggling with your feelings, talking to a mental health professional can be helpful. Seeking counseling for depression and anxiety, if experienced, can be the best way to cope with it.
- 2. Remember, it won’t last forever:
When one is grieving, it might feel like the excruciating pain and feelings of emptiness are never going to end. Having these feelings for prolonged period of time can be overwhelming. It is important to remind yourself that even if it hurts right now, you just need to wait the storm wait. Ride the waves of your emotions, as if you are riding the waves in the ocean. Acknowledge all that you are feeling and wait for it subside. It’s not going to stay the same forever.
- 3. Be there for yourself:
Losing someone very near and dear to you might feel like losing a part of you. It takes a while to figure out who you are without this person in your life. Though the process of redefining yourself may require months, you need to still care for yourself. Be gentle with yourself, grief is exhausting. Acknowledge that it’s going to take time for you to figure out things for yourself. Until that happens, take care of your health. Ensure that you stay hydrated, eat well and take rest.
- 4. Stay away from the 'why':
It is easy to find yourself asking the ‘why’ questions when you are grieving. Wondering "why did this happen to me?", for example, would leave you with feelings of self-pity. Being preoccupied with the why’s does nothing but leaves you circling around the same loop. Instead, slowly start focusing on the ‘what’ questions. Ask yourself, "what do I need right now?" or "what are some things that I can take care of today?", for example.
- 5. Connect with others:
Reach out to your relatives and friends, especially the ones who would understand your loss. Vent out your feelings and share your worries. Until you find your strength back, take help from them in practical ways such as running errands or helping with kids.
Spend time with people who share your loss. Listening to their stories and sharing experiences can be therapeutic in a way.
- 6. Seek out professional help:
Losing your loved one brings in a number of challenges as simple as making changes in routine to as exhausting and complex as redefining yourself or changing roles in the family. One can easily feel overwhelmed and find themselves struggling no matter how much they try. Seeking psychotherapy can be one of the greatest ways to cope with the demands of the situation.
If in case, the family as whole finds itself struggling to make sense of the loss as a unit, family counseling can help members redefine their relationships and roles within the family.
Remember, seeking help isn’t a sign of weakness. Instead it requires courage to reach out and ask for help. It marks the beginning of a journey towards well-being.