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12 Tips to Cope with the Loss of a Loved One

Losing a loved one is never easy. It can be especially difficult when the loss is sudden and unexpected, but you can take steps to cope with this type of grief. For example, you may find that talking to others about your feelings helps or journaling your thoughts—whatever works best for you! Here are some tips on how to cope with the loss of a loved one.

Tips to Cope with the Loss of a Loved One

  1. Don't Suppress the Pain

    grieving woman approaching coffin at wake One of the worst things you can do is try to "snap out" of your grief. The loss may have been sudden, but it doesn't mean that your feelings are any less valid than they would be if a family member had died after suffering from an illness for months or years prior. Your emotions aren't wrong—they're normal! You've just experienced something traumatic and need time to process what's happened before moving on with life again. Allow yourself to feel all your emotions when you're going through this difficult time. Then, find ways in which you can express them (writing in a journal, talking about how you feel with others).

  2. Give Yourself Time

    It takes roughly six months until most people who suffer a loss begin to feel "back to normal" again. This doesn't mean that you'll never get over your loss, but it does take time and patience to adjust to a life without the person who has died in it. The best way of coping with grief is by giving yourself time before moving on from this challenging period in your life. Try not to push yourself too hard emotionally or physically—this can lead to depression.

  3. Talk About Your Grief

    two older grieving women sitting on bench together talking If you find comfort when talking about your feelings, then sharing your story with others may be beneficial for you! You don't need anyone's permission; if there are people around whom you trust and would like support from during this tough time, go ahead and tell them what happened. They may be able to offer you their ears or simply just a hug. Talking about your feelings with others can help ease the pain of grief. If possible, find people who have also experienced loss and are willing to share their stories as well. This may give you some insight into what steps you should take next in life!

  4. Get Professional Grief Counseling

    If you're still struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one, seeking professional grief counseling can be beneficial. Grief counselors are trained in helping people through difficult times and have often been through similar experiences themselves. As a result, they understand what losing someone means for your life and how best to help you move on from this stage.

  5. Journal Your Thoughts

    Getting your thoughts down on paper can also be a healthy way of coping with the loss of a loved one—you'd be surprised by just how therapeutic it is! It doesn't matter if no one else ever reads them. Writing out all your emotions onto paper is enough to get things off your chest without directly talking about them or constantly replaying bad memories over in your head again and again.

  6. Exercise Your Way to a Healthier Mind and Body!

    A great way of coping with grief is by getting into better shape, both physically and mentally! Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel happier, plus it's an excellent distraction from your thoughts. Some people find yoga helpful in times like these—it reduces stress while also forcing you to focus on the present moment for an hour or so each day. Yoga can help improve emotional well-being, too, if practiced regularly over a period of time.

  7. Don't Be Afraid to Ask For Help

    grieving older couple sitting together talking on benchIt's okay not being okay right now; don't be afraid to ask for assistance if you need it! If asking others isn't something that comes easy for you, then consider joining a support group for people who have lost loved ones. This can help you feel less isolated and may introduce you to other peers going through similar experiences as well!

  8. Don't Push People Away

    It takes a while to adjust to life without the person who has died, but pushing people away from you during this difficult time is never helpful. You should take all the support and help that people offer you during this time! You may be so depressed that it might compel you to push people away, but you should never do it. If someone offers you support and comfort after your loss, don't be afraid to accept it.

  9. Don't Hold Back Your Tears

    older woman grieving looking at tombstoneBe honest with yourself and cry when you lose someone important in your life. Crying is a natural reaction for people who are hurting, whether it's tears of sadness or joy! It honestly doesn't matter if others around you judge the way that you're feeling—letting all of your emotions out through crying can be beneficial for both mental and physical health.

  10. Take Things One Day at a Time

    Even though coping with the death of a loved one might feel impossible right now, try not to think too far ahead into the future. It will only add more stress to an already stressful time in your life. You've been given this moment by virtue--embrace it while being grateful for what remains instead of focusing on things that no longer exist.

  11. Accept What Has Happened: Get Out Of Denial As Soon As You Can

    grieving older gentleman looking at photoDon't spend too much time in denial—grief is normal, and everyone needs to go through it at some point. Accepting what has happened sooner rather than later will make the healing process easier for you, helping you move on from your loss more quickly!

  12. Take Care of Yourself

    Finally, it's important to remember that you need to take care of yourself as well! Don't stress out about your lot in life. Instead, try and find a positive silver lining after everything is said and done. You will get through this difficult time—it just takes time for the wounds from losing someone close to finally heal up.

Let us know in the comments below - What helped you most in getting over the loss of a loved one? 

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