Ways to Cope with the Death of a Loved One
You or someone you know might be going through a hard time due to the death of a loved one. Losing a loved one is a traumatic experience, whether or not it was expected. For anyone, coping with the tremendous feeling of loss is challenging and often seems hopeless. Each one grieves differently and must find a way to cope.
Accept what happened.
Denial is a natural response for many, but it’s never beneficial. After some time, you must find a way to accept what happened.
It’s also crucial to accept your reaction and feelings. You might feel guilty from feeling angry or frustrated with your new situation but know that these emotions, as well as exhaustion, sadness, and fear, are all normal. Everyone has a different way of processing death, so you don’t have to guess if what you’re feeling is right.
Change your inner talk from “I shouldn’t be feeling this way” to “It’s okay to feel this way because I am still adjusting.”
When you’re ready, talk about it with someone you trust.
It’s never easy to talk about how we feel, especially when the emotions are still fresh. But keeping it all bottled up inside will only lead to isolation and feelings of loneliness. It’s only natural not to want to talk to anyone about anything that had just happened at first, but you have to take the leap and open up to somebody eventually.
Talk about your feelings and thoughts to someone you trust, like your parents, siblings, colleagues, or a close friend. Some people also find it easier to talk to a psychologist because it’s sometimes easier to open up to a stranger with a fresh perspective. If you can’t talk about it, at least write about it in your journal or on a blog.
Consider getting emotional pet support.
Some people also find great comfort from animals. If you like to get a pet, you can get a certificate of emotional disability and an emotional pet support letter from a licensed psychologist.
It’s great to know that even if you live in an apartment or condo, the Fair Housing Act allows you to live with your emotional support animal legally.
Do something new.
Jinna Young, a lifestyle photojournalist, found that traveling helped heal her wounds from the death of her father. In her words, “It (traveling) opened up my eyes, expanded my perspective and inspired me to continue to fight to find happiness.”
Maybe it’s picking up a new hobby or going somewhere you’ve never been. Maybe it’s reading a new book or meeting new people. Whatever it is, do something new that’s enjoyable for you and will help widen your perspective and change your focus.
In the end, the grief over the death of a loved one is a unique kind of pain. You have to be patient with yourself because the process takes time. But with the support of your loved ones and your continued effort to get support, there’s nowhere to go but up.