Having to say goodbye to someone you love is never easy, but it’s an unavoidable part of life. Processing major grief like this can be challenging, especially for those unfamiliar with loss.
However, it’s important to remember that even without them, your life will go on, and you’ll need to find ways to process how you feel, celebrate their life, let them go, and be happy even in their absence.
Here are a few ways to help you process loss.
Keep them close to you
Especially in the early days, you will miss their physical presence immensely. While this can never truly be felt again, there are ways to keep your loved one close and feel their presence in your life.
You can do this with memorial keepsakes, a memory box, a piece of their jewellery, or a simple photograph on your phone or beside your bed. A reminder of your loved one can help you to feel less alone.
Partake in rituals
Funerals, memorials, burial services, and other post-death rituals might feel like something you don’t want to deal with in your time of grief. It might feel like too much for you to handle emotionally, and you might not feel prepared to face the other people in your life.
However, try to remember that these rituals are a way to bring peace and closure to the people left behind, and they might make you feel better than you’d expect.
Allow yourself to feel
When you’re experiencing very intense emotions, it’s important to give yourself space to actually feel your feelings instead of shoving them aside or trying to ignore them.
Taking time to feel and experience your grief isn’t a fun time, but it’s an important part of the process and will allow you to eventually start feeling better after a while.
Reach out for support
Talking to the people around you about your loss can be incredibly helpful. Feeling like you’re going through this experience alone can be isolating and make matters worse.
Spend time with others who cared for your lost loved one, share memories, and grieve together. This support can be a great help.
Even when times are tough, you need to remember to take care of yourself. Practising self-care is important for your mental health, especially during a difficult time.
Bubble baths and face masks can help you to feel a little better. However, what’s really important here is basic self-care. Eat nutritious foods, get in some daily exercise, prioritise sleep and rely on other habits that boost your mental and physical health.
Avoid relying on substances
Finally, it might be a good idea to avoid excessive drinking and drug use during this difficult time.
Relying on alcohol to numb your pain or feel better can be dangerous to your health, both mentally and physically, and turning to substances when you’re emotionally fragile can lead to destructive behaviours and even addiction.