“There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief.” – Aeschylus
Losing someone you love is something you’re never prepared for, even if the person was sick for many years. The impact grief has on our heart, mind, and body is one that can’t be prevented. However, you can gain a bit of clarity by using a few of these tips on finding peace in the midst of a storm…
1. Allow yourself to feel - There’s no right or wrong way to feel after losing someone. You could be feeling many things at once–anger, sadness, hurt confusion–or you may be numb, still in a state of shock. It might be hard for you to truly accept right now.
Or maybe you can’t stop crying or feeling emotional at the drop of a hat. Let yourself feel whatever it is you’re feeling. Accept that this is part of the process and it’s okay to be sad, hurt, or even angry. Give yourself permission to be upset about it and truly feel every single emotion
2. Write in a journal – Sometimes the best way to get out your feelings and frustration after loss is to write them down. You may not feel like a “writer” or someone who has ever cared much for diaries or journals, but writing down your uncensored thoughts and feelings can help to restore your sense of peace.
Grab a few sheets of notebook paper, a piece of scrap paper, or even some junk mail, and write down everything you’re feeling or thinking. Don’t pay attention to grammar, spelling, or whether or not you think it makes sense. The point is to give you an outlet for your pain and frustration so that it doesn’t stay bottled up inside.
3. Your style of coping will almost inevitably be different – Your friends and family may feel distant to you right now. Everyone has their own way of coping with grief; yours might not fall in line with others. One might heal better by staying busy and moving on with daily activities; others may heal by spending time reflecting on the loved one’s life; others still may need to cleanse themselves by listening to especially emotional songs, burying themselves in sad movies, and crying a lot. No one style is better than the other. It’s all about what feels right to you in this time of suffering.
4. Talk to a pastor or counselor – Your way of coping may involve speaking to your church pastor or priest or seeking help from a licensed counselor. Talking to a professional or trained minister can help you feel more validated, more connected, and overall more peaceful. You won’t heal instantly from speaking to someone of higher authority, but it can certainly make your outlook feel a whole lot brighter.
These people are here to help others, and their training and years of higher education and experience have equipped them to assist you in critical times like this.
5. Remember there’s no time frame for healing – Above all, keep in mind that there’s no timeline for your grief. In five months, you don’t “have to” feel a certain way or be at a certain phase in your grief.
You may have moved on with your life in some ways, but still cry every few days. It’s important to remember that grief won’t always be center stage in your life, but that person’s memory and your love for them will always remain in your heart. Take your time healing.
It’s important not to try to rush the process. If you get impatient or tell yourself you “shouldn’t” still be feeling a certain way, then you’ll only make the wounds hurt more.
You are not alone
If it has been several months though and you still feel it is like your first day of mourning, your grief could have turned into a complex, deep depression or what is known as complicated grief. This is the type of intense grief that makes it feel impossible to move on, where the sufferer feels no improvement and instead, constantly disrupted by the loss of their loved one. If you feel like this is the case, please seek professional treatment. You don’t have to carry the burden alone.
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About Alex Blackwell
Alex Blackwell is a father, husband and writer. He writes about inspiring things at The BridgeMaker.
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