Losing a close friend or loved one is not easy. The grieving process can bring forth a roller coaster of conflicting emotions. All of which can impact your personal life and well-being in unpredictable ways.
The key to a strong recovery is to keep regular touch with the people who matter to you the most. And to maintain healthy day-to-day habits that keep your physical and mental well-being in top form.
Here are some useful ways to cope with losing a loved one and how to move forward in life.
Let Your Emotions Flow
During the early stages of grieving it’s perfectly normal to experience a broad range of conflicting emotions. One moment everything seems to be okay. A few minutes later you might burst into tears or lash out at someone for no real reason.
These kind of mood swings are perfectly natural. Your friends and family will most likely expect these moments too. And they should be aware that anything you say or do at this time is not a personal attack against them.
Gently remind yourself there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to respond to the brevity of the situation. Simply let your emotions come naturally to you, and respond – within reason, of course – to how you feel in a way that is comfortable for you.
Look After Your Mental and Physical Health
After losing a loved one, you may find it hard to maintain the lifestyle you once had before their passing. You may find that even doing basic activities, which were once normal to you, can bring back painful memories.
Unfortunately, some people get so preoccupied in their own grief, their quality of life suffers. This can lead to a number of health-related issues such as:
- Chronic stress
- Loss of appetite
- General aches and pains
- Heart attack or stroke
If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should visit a local GP for medical advice and support on how to overcome the grieving process. Depending on your symptoms, they may suggest you attend group therapy or see a psychologist.
Bereavement support is a professional service offered by many funeral homes. If at any time you feel the grief is overwhelming, you can contact a 24-hour support line and talk to an experienced counsellor who will guide you in the right direction.
You may want to reminisce over the memories of your lost loved one. Maybe you are looking for coping strategies or you just want someone to talk to. Whatever your needs, talking to an experienced counsellor can help you ‘release’ your emotions and learn effective coping methods to guide you on the road to recovery.
Another benefit to bereavement support is having one-on-one sessions with a counsellor. Some people find it uncomfortable to express themselves in a group support environment. Talking to a counsellor over the phone or in-person is more convenient and gives you the freedom to express yourself – without fear or judgement.
Funerals of Compassion provides bereavement support for all families during times of loss. If you have recently lost a loved one and wish to speak to a counsellor, refer to our bereavement support page for advice on how to move forward.