How to Deal with Grief

Posted: 16/10/2017

Losing someone you love has to be one of the worst things to deal with in one’s lifetime. However, we all value this as part of life’s cruelties and something that none of us can escape. Since death is an inescapable part of the circle of life, we must all learn how to cope in times where the death of another knocks of down.

Typically, grief starts with denial, potentially followed by feelings of anger, sadness and then eventually acceptance. It is natural to follow this pattern, but it is important that you do not get stuck in any of them that will not allow you to progress towards that acceptance stage.

In this guide, we aim to help you to understand and cope with your grief and all the feelings that come along with it.

Here are some general steps to take:

Accept your feelings rather than suppressing your feelings

Too many people are guilty of avoiding, suppressing or repressing how they actually feel about the death of a loved one because they feel too uncomfortable to do so. Studies have shown that people who do not deal with their negative emotions properly or in a healthy manner have many more physiological problems as well as psychological ones. You are likely to feel emotions such as anger, sadness, confusion, disbelief, frustration, loneliness, guilt, regret, shock, emptiness and so on. But these are normal, so don’t beat yourself up about feeling a certain way – the feelings are both raw and real. To help you on your journey to acceptance, you should find a safe space to face these feelings. Communicating with a trusted and close friend, counsellor or support group can help you out a lot in the long term. Reading books on meditation or prayer, if you are religious, to use these to help you deal with your emotions.

Don’t forget it is completely okay and in some ways beneficial to cry. It can help you release your built up emotions in a natural way. Crying can often make you feel a whole lot better afterwards, and then you are ready to move on with your day or get a good night’s sleep.

Learn how to grow from the loss

The death of a close of friend or family member can help you to learn more about yourself and stop taking so much for granted. Taking a loss on is a huge challenge and it can make you stronger as a consequence. Of course, there are no positives of a death of a loved one, but the closest thing to something positive would be that you can now be ensured you have been through one of the toughest things to deal with that life can throw our way and you have, as a consequence, become stronger for it. Furthermore, when another friend, family member or partner is ever faced with a death of one of their loved ones, you can offer the best possible support as you have been through it yourself at this point. As a person, you will learn and grow in the end from such a terrible thing.

Replace your negative feelings with positive feelings

This may be easier said than done, but this is very beneficial. You can do this by simply accepting the negatives of death but putting a positive spin on how you discuss or think about it. For example, “this is an extremely hard time of my life but I am going to get through it”, rather than simply, “this is an extremely hard time of my life”.

Consider thing through all the upcoming things you have to look forward to, such as a holiday you have booked or a wedding that you are to attend in the near future. Start planning for the things you have upcoming to help you get your mind off of the grief and also to remind yourself that you do still have good things happening in your life.

Keep your mind occupied by learning a new skill or improving your skills. This will help with pushing your positive thoughts to the front of your mind – “I now know how to do this”. Learning a new skill will occupy you and make you feel great when you master it!

Do not isolate yourself

Something which many people find desirable when dealing with grief is to shut out the rest of the world and be alone. Whilst it is important to take some time out for yourself, do not let it become a habit and end up isolating yourself.

Use your friends and family as a support network, they will be more than happy to be there for you just like you would be for them. It is important to not refuse their kind gestures and offer of support when you are dealing with grief. The loneliness can get worse and worse and stop you from ever moving forward in the grieving process.

If you are spending a day or a few days alone, do not coop yourself up in your room. Take time to take even just a 5-10 minute walk out in the fresh air. This will give you time to think and maybe listen to music whilst being stimulated by your outside surroundings.

If you need to speak to a professional because you are struggling with dealing with grief, don’t hold back. The last thing you want to happen is your grief leading you into a spiral of emotions that further knock you back. There are plenty of grief counsellors out there who are willing to listen and to help.

You may want to look into prepaid funeral plans to ease your mind. Planning and paying for funerals for someone very close to you can be extremely stressful, which is something no one needs or deserves when grief has hit them.