By Elizabeth Postle, RN, HV, FWT
I hope that the following pages about how to deal with grief will help you to find positive ways of coping with death, loss or bereavement and also show you how to help others who are dealing with grief. Perhaps some of these words will be of some comfort as you follow your own bereavement pathway.
The fact that you are grieving means that you had someone you loved very much. Many people go through life never knowing real love. Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?
Grief has no boundaries. It happens to rich or poor. Royalty and celebrities - no-one is exempt. In this we are all equals. Trying to make sense of it all is easier if you accept that it is a fact of life. The one certainty in life is that our lifetime will end.
Birth and death are such natural parts of life, but it’s very hard to accept when it’s your soul mate, your partner, a close friend or relative who dies, especially a young person. It also brings home your own mortality.
Make the most of life
It’s so easy to forget just to make the most of every day. Be kind to your family and friends and enjoy the life you have. The loved one who has died will always be a major chapter in your life. Never forgotten. Your day to day life continues on though. Your lifespan, no matter how long or short goes on. It, too, is precious. You owe it to the rest of your family and friends to grieve, yes, but move on.
It’s a time to adjust to the death of a loved one. A process of learning to cope without their physical presence. You are going through a bereavement, and for many weeks you still expect them to walk in through the door. You may think that you see them in a crowd. The lack of conversation, phone calls, outings with them, missing their helpful advice; these are all small losses which make up the greater loss of your bereavement. After the death of a child, the house can seem so quiet.
There can be a lack of all the care routines that were in place for an ill family member or friend. Feelings of emptiness and wondering how to fill your days might be difficult when you no longer have your baby, your child or your ill loved one to care for. You do feel bereft. These turmoils of painful emotions are overwhelming at first and at times later. Take each day at a time, endure and it will become easier to cope with everyday routines again.
Everyone is different and no-one will have exactly the same grieving process. You may feel any one of a variety of different emotions. You might feel many of them at the same time, or you might feel numb and empty. There is no set time for grieving, it is all individual. But it might help if you read about some of the more common emotions of grief to help you understand what is happening to you.
When feelings are high, have a weep, take some deep breaths and move on. Ring a friend, smile, go shopping, cook a meal. Carry on with your normal activities. Anything to take your mind off these negative feelings. You will learn to cope with your emotions and the severity of these feelings will ease. A huge effort has to be made to think positively and focus the mind. Keep busy.
Endure and survive. Bring happiness back into your own life.
When anxiety, panic and butterflies in the stomach overwhelm you, just let it wash over you like a wave. Take deep breaths. Understand that it will pass and you can learn to control it. Have a cuppa. Go for a walk. Realise that they are natural symptoms. Everyone suffers them at some time in their lives. They are not unusual.
Here are many more pages from this site to show you how to deal with your grief:
See also some of the best resources on how to deal with grief from the web:
Elizabeth Postle had a varied and fulfilling nursing career, culminating in running her own high dependency hospice. She is the author of this website. Read more about her here.
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Try a gentle hypnotherapy track to relax the mind. Learn how self-hypnosis can help you cope with grief at any time of the day or night.
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Our free downloadable and printable document "The 10 Most Important Things You Can Do To Survive Your Grief And Get On With Life" will help you to be positive day to day.
The 10 points are laid out like a poem on two pretty pages which you can pin on your fridge door to help you every day!
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