While grieving a loss is an inevitable part of life, there are ways to help cope with the pain, come to terms with your grief, and eventually, find a way to pick up the pieces and move on with your life.
- Acknowledge your pain.
- Accept that grief can trigger many different and unexpected emotions.
- Understand that your grieving process will be unique to you.
- Seek out face-to-face support from people who care about you.
- Support yourself emotionally by taking care of yourself physically.
- Recognize the difference between grief and depression.
Instead of a series of stages, we might also think of the grieving process as a roller coaster, full of ups and downs, highs and lows. Like many roller coasters, the ride tends to be rougher in the beginning, the lows may be deeper and longer.
The difficult periods should become less intense and shorter as time goes by, but it takes time to work through a loss. Even years after a loss, especially at special events such as a family wedding or the birth of a child, we may still experience a strong sense of grief.
My mother died
The loss of my mother, especially as i cared for her in her last few weeks and experienced her moment of passing, is nearly undescribable. I felt so much pain by seeing her suffering and as she was released it was a release also for me.
The first two days i couldn’t talk about her death without feeling this preasure on my chest and the tears unstoppably flew. I wasn’t ashame or didn’t try to hold it back. I just let it flow. I felt so sad and the only thing what helped was a nice photo of her what reminded me on her happy and radiating energy. Sometimes i couldn’t believe what happend and that she wouldn’t return anymore.
I started to visit places with my father and brother where we digged out old memories of family visits and happy events. This gave us all a feeling of happiness and directed our focus on positiv and happy moments.
At home we left all her things at its place. Her clothes, her reading glasses, her setup at the table... All stayed at its place. We kept her energy in the house. Only piece by piece went into a wardrobe, but many things still remind on her presence.
One week after her passing i felt a bit more in ease. Meditation and slow breathing helped me a lot to connect with her energy. I still talk to her and ask her advise. I see her free, out of her limiting body, ready for new adventures to realise her true self.
The switch from communicating with her in her physical body to connecting to her energy even more was a very profound step.
I will always carry her in my heart and will miss her presence when i come home. I am very grateful that i could support her and help her over this very difficult time and experience her passing. It enriched my experience and made me able to carry on with my own life in gratitude for each moment.
Seeking support for grief and loss
The pain of grief can often cause you to want to withdraw from others and retreat into your shell. But having the face-to-face support of other people is vital to healing from loss. Even if you’re not comfortable talking about your feelings under normal circumstances, it’s important to express them when you’re grieving.
While sharing your loss can make the burden of grief easier to carry, that doesn’t mean that every time you interact with friends and family, you need to talk about your loss. Comfort can also come from just being around others who care about you. The key is not to isolate yourself.
Turn to friends and family members. Now is the time to lean on the people who care about you, even if you take pride in being strong and self-sufficient. Rather than avoiding them, draw friends and loved ones close, spend time together face to face, and accept the assistance that’s offered. Often, people want to help but don’t know how, so tell them what you need—whether it’s a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, or just someone to hang out with. If you don’t feel you have anyone you can regularly connect with in person, it’s never too late to build new friendships.
Accept that many people feel awkward when trying to comfort someone who’s grieving. Grief can be a confusing, sometimes frightening emotion for many people, especially if they haven’t experienced a similar loss themselves. They may feel unsure about how to comfort you and end up saying or doing the wrong things. But don’t use that as an excuse to retreat into your shell and avoid social contact. If a friend or loved one reaches out to you, it’s because they care.
Draw comfort from your faith. If you follow a religious tradition, embrace the comfort its mourning rituals can provide. Spiritual activities that are meaningful to you—such as praying or meditating—can offer solace.
Join a support group. Grief can feel very lonely, even when you have loved ones around. Sharing your sorrow with others who have experienced similar losses can help. To find a bereavement support group in your area, contact local hospitals, hospices, funeral homes, and counseling centers, or share with me.
Talk to a therapist or grief counselor. If your grief feels like too much to bear, find a mental health professional with experience in grief counseling. An experienced therapist can help you work through intense emotions and overcome obstacles to your grieving.