Losing someone close to us is never easy. First, comes the initial shock and disbelief. We struggle to believe that our loved one is really gone. However, when that reality really sets in, the overwhelming surge of emotions can be truly devastating. We feel lost and hopeless and keep asking ourselves why.
Why did they leave us? Why did this happen to them? How will we ever move on?
These are questions that flood our minds and cycle on repeat as we struggle to grapple with the grief that is overwhelming us. It might feel impossible to keep our heads above water, but we are expected to move on. Typically, the standard bereavement period offered by companies is just five days. That means a week after losing a loved one, we are usually expected to return to work. It seems difficult, but it is possible to conquer grief and turn things around after a tragedy. Keep reading for a few strategies to help you understand grief and keep moving forward in the wake of a loss.
Know That It Is “Okay” to Feel Sorrow
The most important thing to remember after we lost someone close to us is that it is okay to be upset. We just lost a person that meant a lot to us and that is going to be emotional. Don’t be afraid to express your feelings and emotions. Crying does not make us weak. In fact, crying has actually been shown to improve emotional health.
If you are upset after a loss, don’t try to keep it all bottled deep inside. Withholding emotions or trying to ignore the feelings bubbling up can be extremely detrimental to healing. Instead, be open and honest about your feelings. Don’t be afraid to show emotion and if you feel stuck, seeking the help of a professional bereavement counselor is not a sigh of failure. In fact, it actually shows that you’re mature enough to ask for help.
Embrace Friends and Family
When dealing with the loss of a loved one, it’s also important to embrace those close to us. Becoming a recluse and shutting out the world might seem appealing, but that simply means that you are not dealing with your emotions.
You also need to keep in mind that your family and friends may very well be grieving themselves. If your mother or father passed away, don’t you think that your siblings could use someone to lean on as well? What if your spouse passed away? Won’t your children need a shoulder to cry on too? By embracing those around us, we can continue healing and working towards accepting a loss. This is an important concept to remember in the wake of a death.
Focus on Reframing
During the grieving process, sometimes it is necessary to change the way we are looking at things. We might be caught on thoughts of denial, anger, or disbelief. We often struggle to ask why this happened to such a good person, how the person could have left us, or sometimes even wishing it was us instead. These thoughts are holding us back from turning things around after a loss. That is why reframing is such an important technique. We have the ability to consciously choose how we look at something. Instead of letting self-pity or grief consumer you, make an active decision to not let the loss define you.
Establish a Memorial for Your Deceased Loved One
Sometimes, the void a person leaves in our life is too big to contemplate. Losing a spouse, parent, sibling, child, grandparent, close friend, or other relative can bring a bout of overwhelming emotions. It’s impossible to imagine carrying on life without them, but it is possible to do so. If you want to feel your lost loved one near, creating a memorial to celebrate the life of the deceased is a great way to do so. This not only honors our loved ones, but it also gives us a place to visit and feel their presence.
Garden memorials and memorial benches are both great options that will help you feel their presence while enjoying the serenity of nature. You can also plant a memorial tree and watch as it grows tall and strong over the years. If you used to sit on the porch with your loved one, some beautifully tuned memorial windchimes rustling in the breeze will serve as an ever-present reminder of the relationship you help. These beautiful memorial ideas can go a long way in turning a corner in the grieving process and helping us get back on track after a difficult loss.