How To Deal With Grief After Losing Someone You Love
Updated July 23, 2019
We all know that death is a part of life, but that doesn't make it any easier when a loved one passes away. In these fragile parts of our lives, it can be difficult to figure out how to deal with grief.
There are numerous factors that will determine the severity of sadness and grief that a person will feel. For example, the emotions you feel following losing a parent will most likely be more severe than the ones you will feel when losing a friend or family member who was not as close to you.
The good news is there are many things you can do to help yourself along the path of healing from grief that can be implemented quickly and easily into your life. The methods you use to help you will vary based on many factors such as what stage of grief you are experiencing or how long it has been since you lost your loved one.
What are the Stages of Grief?
According to modern psychology, there are 5 main stages of grief. There is no order of stages and how long one stays in each stage is completely unique to each person. You could also lose someone and go through one sequence of stages of grief, but when you lose someone else, it could be completely different.
The stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. If you want to learn how to deal with grief, you will first need to decipher which stage of grief you are experiencing and do your best to facilitate the move to the next stage.
When we first learn of a loss of a loved one, it is common to be in denial. This doesn't necessarily mean that you will refuse to believe of the death, but rather have thoughts that this can't be true. You may find haven within your own mind and choose to pretend your loved on is on an extended vacation or that it was all just a bad dream.
The next stage is anger. Once you are no longer able to ignore the situation, you will want someone to blame. If the passing was due to a medical condition, you might blame the doctors in charge of caring for them. In a car accident, you may blame the other driver, even if your loved one was the party at fault.
Stage three of grief is bargaining. This is an example of the "if onlys" that you might consider. If only you had stayed a little longer at Christmas or spoken to your loved one more on the phone.
Another stage of grief is depression. There are two main forms of depression that are commonly seen as a result of grief. The first is a natural and public reaction to the passing of your loved one. This includes general feelings of sadness and regret. It can also cause us to worry about burial arrangements.
The second kind of depression is suffered in silence much of the time. It causes deeply personal sadness and is something that we oftentimes deal with in private.
The final stage of grief is acceptance. Many people never reach this stage because they are unable to ever get past one of the other stages. It is important that you learn how to deal with grief in a healthy and wholesome way so that this doesn't happen to you.
Let Yourself Feel
All too often, we suffer for much longer than needed because we ignore our emotions during the bereavement process. This could be because it seems that it would be too difficult to deal with the emotions we are feeling, or it could be because we are stuck in the denial phase of grief.
It is of the utmost importance that you let yourself have the emotions you feel following the death of your loved one. Bottling up emotions inside is never beneficial under any circumstances.
Consider the idea that not dealing with your sadness will not make it go away. You are only delaying the inevitable. Also, the longer you go without dealing with these raw emotions you feel, the harder it will be to get past the stage you feel stuck in.
If you make it your goal and mission to learn how to get over grief that you might feel, you will be able to get fully in touch with your emotions so that you can work through them in a healthy manner.
This will not be an easy or quick feat but remind yourself that all good things take time. You deserve to live a life full of happiness and peace. Don't let the grief that you carry around take that away from you.
Seek out Support
Grief is possibly one of the most difficult experiences that we must go through in our lives. Although it is a common experience that we all go through, that doesn't mean we should have to go through it alone. There are many forms of grief support that you can seek out to help you through this tough time.
Your first and most apparent option for this would be to seek out the help of friends or family members. It is likely that they are already aware of your situation and are more than willing to help you through this tough time. Reach out to them in your time of need and accept help when it is offered.
Even though your mind might trick you into thinking that this causes you to be a burden, don't listen to it. We all go through tough times and the people around us want to help hold us up. Your friends and family will want to be there for you, and you would be doing yourself an extreme disservice if you choose not to take advantage of that.
If you are uncomfortable including people close to you in your healing process, you could do a quick google search with the query "grief support groups near me" or "grief counseling near me". These are two wonderful options that you can use to help you on your journey to learn how to deal with grief.
A grief counselor is someone that is specially trained to help people that are in the same situation as you are in now. These are individuals who have chosen to dedicate their lives to the job and are more than happy to help you through this. Put your trust in them and trust the process as well. You will thank yourself later!
Keep a Journal
Many people find it very healing and therapeutic to keep a grief journal. This can be a spiral or an online blog that you keep to jot down anything you want.
Even though this will likely be in the same form as a diary, it does not have to keep that shape. You can use your journal to keep logs of how you are feeling, to commemorate memories that you have of the person you lost, or to write letters to this person.
The most important thing is that you believe in this method to help you and that you invest the time in it that is required for this to be beneficial to you. This can be a great tool for you to use as you are learning how to deal with grief, but only if you apply yourself and allow it to work its magic!
Try to Avoid Major Changes
In the wake of the loss of your loved one, it is normal to feel like your life has been completely turned on its head. The life that you will live from there on out will be vastly different than the one you had before and that will require some adjusting to.
Major life changes such as starting a new job or moving to a new location might seem like just the thing to do, but it can be detrimental to your healing process. You want to make sure you don't take for granted the comfort that you feel from the things that stay constant in your life.
The reason it is so important to shy away from major changes like these is because it is imperative that you give yourself plenty of brain space to adapt to your new way of living. Even the slightest change in your life can make it all seem much too overwhelming, which will only delay you on your journey to learning how to deal with grief.
Accept that Life is for the Living
Although we can all agree that life would be much more pleasant without grief, the truth is that death is a part of life.
This is not the first or last time that you will lose someone you love. As time goes on, the grip that grief has on you will be less and less intense. You will eventually come to terms with the fact that life is for the living. With some determination, this realization will help you let go of the person you lost and move on with your life.
You don't need to worry about ever forgetting about this important person in your life that you loved. Living the best life you can, though, demands that you don't let your grief take your life away.