Of the wide spectrum of human emotions, grief is probably the most profound one. It’s very difficult to come to term with the loss or death of a loved one, and it may take days and even years to come out of the shock. One goes through a gamut of feelings which starts with denial – ‘This can’t be happening to me’. This is followed by guilt, anger and depression. Every individual goes through the 7 stages of grief till he/she finally accepts the loss. This journey can be emotionally stressful during which one is vulnerable to suffer from ailments and even fall prey to addictions like alcoholism and drug abuse. Hence it is very important to know how to deal with grief.
Ways to Deal with Grief
Accept the Truth: You can’t get your loved one back by denying the truth. Accept the loss. Talk to friends and family, a loved one who would understand what you are going through, or someone who has suffered the same loss. You would be amazed at how light and relieved you feel after having poured your heart out. Write a journal and then destroy it if you fear that someone might read it. It’s all about letting those feelings out. Keeping one’s emotions locked away will only accentuate and prolong the pain.
Feel the Pain: This might feel ridiculous at the stage when the pain of losing a loved one feels like a sharp stab in the chest. But believe me, feeling the pain will work in shortening the grieving period. The more you keep shoving away the pain the more it will torment you. Deal with it and it will end. Otherwise it will keep resurfacing throughout one’s life and interfere in relationship with others.
Adjust to the New Life: Learn to live in the environment in which the loved is no longer there. Visit the places that both of you used to go to. Spend time at home without the loved one around. Celebrate anniversaries. Face every aspect of life of which he/she was an integral part. The first time you do this it will be immensely painful but with time it will become easier to deal with the grief and loss.
Join a Support Group: When it comes to sharing one’s pain there is no one better to share pain with than one who has already been in the same situation. People often find it easier to relate to those who have suffered similar losses as they seem to understand their loss better. These people seem to have the right words and give the best advice on how to deal with grief and loss.
Turn to your Faith: Those who are religious would often find peace in spiritual activities like prayer, meditation and visits to the church. Talk to a clergyman or any other person in your religious community. Religion can provide great strength. Embrace the comfort that the mourning rituals your religion provides.
Take Care of Yourself: The process of grieving is an immensely stressful one. It is important to take care oneself. Eat well and exercise regularly. Meditation also gives the strength to deal with grief.
Approach a Counselor: In case the grief becomes too much to bear, call a mental health professional. These trained professionals have experience in grief counseling. They can help one to handle the emotional turmoil and overcome difficulties that hinder the healing process.
There is nothing wrong in being able to deal with the pain of losing a loved one. You cannot do any good to the one who is gone by grieving. However, by knowing how to deal with grief, you would be doing a big favor to those who are still around and love and care for you.