Facing the loss of a family member or close friend is probably one of the most difficult challenges that life throws at us. When we've lost a partner, parent, brother or sister, we're likely to experience intense grief.
While death is a natural part of our lives, we may still be overwhelmed by shock, confusion and sadness that may trigger more extended periods of depression. Our feelings of sadness at the death of a loved one may lessen as time goes by, but it's essential to acknowledge the process of grieving and continue to look back on the times you spent together.
We all react differently when a loved one dies, and we all find unique ways of coping with grief. But there's no set time scale for grieving - for some people, it takes months, while others need a year or two to come to terms with their loss. But over time, most people can recover from the grief of bereavement if family and friends support them.
You may have heard about the phases of grief, from the initial shock and denial through anger, depression and finally taking a positive turn towards working through the loss. Most people will grieve for a while and then be able to move on with their lives. But others may need additional support as their grief prevents them from carrying out their usual daily activities. And not everyone experiences the stages of grief in chronological order. Instead, your feelings might swing back and forth from day to day, especially in the earlier stages of grieving.
It's never easy to let go of a loved one. It can take time, but some healthy coping strategies may help someone who's grieving to accept their loss and find a new sense of purpose in life.
There's no time limit on mourning. There are so many variables with grief, such as the age of the loved one, the length of your relationship and how they died - for example, was it sudden, natural, or traumatic? Different circumstances play into the length of time we need to accept our loss, and setting a time limit on grieving can add to the stress of bereavement. Instead, accept that everyone's different, and you'll be able to move on when you're ready.
If you avoid others, you're isolating yourself from a support network of family and friends who can help you with the process of healing. Talking about loss enables you to acknowledge what has happened and lets you share memories of your loved one.
Take care of yourself and your family. Grieving takes its toll physically as well as mentally. So check in on loved ones and make sure they're eating well, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly.
A funeral lets you express your grief in a cathartic way. Organising a funeral that represents the core values and personality of the deceased is a way to celebrate their life and honour their memory. Writing a eulogy and choosing beautiful music, flowers and readings helps to carry you through the early days of grief and can bring a sense of closure.
Did your loved one have a strong influence on your life? Maybe they supported and inspired you during your education or perhaps you chose your career path to follow in their footsteps. Remembering how they helped you and continuing their achievements in your own life can help you to come to terms with your loss.
When you spend time with other family members and friends of the deceased, it helps everyone cope. Whether it's looking at photos, listening to music or sharing memories, a little effort can make a massive difference for some people. And when you help others, it also allows you to feel better.
The anniversary of losing a loved one can be difficult, but it can also be a time to celebrate and honour them. Choosing to do something positive to mark the date, whether it's raising funds for their favourite charity or planting a rosebush in their memory, can help you move forward and reconstruct your life.
It's always painful to lose someone, but it will get easier with time, and healthy coping mechanisms will help you get through. You'll probably experience a range of feelings, including anger, sadness and weariness. These emotions are completely natural, and it's helpful to recognise them. Bach Flower Mix 68 can help you in bereavement, soothing grief, reducing anger, fighting depression and helping you to accept your loss and let go.
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