The death of a loved one is one of the most challenging events anyone can go through. It affects every part of our being and our lives, especially if it’s someone we are close to. The process of moving through grief alone is exhausting and can take its toll on your health if you are not careful. It’s a time to take care of yourself (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) more than you ever have. I’ve been through the grieving process more times than I can share here, but I will give you my best tips to help you navigate grief healthily.
Work on Acceptance
Accepting what has happened is one of the first healthful steps to take to move through grief healthily. Unfortunately, it can be one of the most challenging stages of the process. Things like saying goodbye at a service/funeral can be initially helpful if the death is hard to believe or grasp.
I remember this was the case when I lost my best friend at a young age. I hadn’t been with her for several years because she was in the US Army. Her death was sudden and unthinkable, leaving me confused and overwhelmed with grief. Even so, until I saw her body, I couldn’t believe it was real. Acceptance is fundamental, but that doesn’t mean that it will come to you immediately or with ease. Be kind to yourself and allow the connection to what has happened to come naturally. That said, some people choose to do a psychic reading online for confirmation that their loved one is OK. And, yes, I have done this on several occasions.
Ask for Help
This step is crucial for the beginning stages of grief, but, unfortunately, it can be the hardest thing to do. Grief can create a sense of wanting to be alone or the desire to isolate one’s self. I fully understand this feeling, but I know that it can do more harm than good in some cases. Allowing others to help you might not be easy for you anytime, let alone when you are emotionally compromised. Do your best to let at least one person help you with tasks. Additionally, it’s important to have someone to talk to as you move through the grieving process. Do also keep in mind that asking for professional help is more than OK.
Take All the Time That You Need
The raw intensity of loss does lessen over time, but you mustn’t hurry the mourning process. Your grief won’t be like anyone else’s. It is as unique to you as the relationship was with the loved one that you lost. It’s important to allow your emotions to surface as they do for as long as they do. Grief doesn’t have a schedule or a rulebook.
Let Emotions Flow
I encourage you to allow your emotions to surface at will if you can. This is the best way to acknowledge the need to process feelings no matter what they are. Even if you don’t understand emotion, give it room to be expressed.
If you cling to the stigma associated with crying and expressing emotions, this could be a purposeful time to explore what beliefs are behind the fear of expressing emotions. Consider the first time you remember being told not to cry or be emotional. You might discover something about yourself that you didn’t realize.
Be Aware of Grief’s Physical Effects
Being sad, angry, and disconnected are all common emotional effects of losing someone you love. Did you know that you can have odd and ongoing physical effects as well? Things like a pounding heart, rise in blood pressure, lowered immune function, difficulty breathing, losing your appetite, and sleep disturbance are all on the scope of physical effects experienced with grief. After my brother and mom died, I experienced many physical symptoms that, at the time, I didn’t understand what was happening to me. I shoved down the emotions so hard that symptoms showed up in my body. These things can stay with you for years, decades, even for life unless they are dealt with.
Deal with Financial Responsibilities
Depending on your ties to the deceased, there could be many unpleasant financial tasks to perform like notifying all pertinent authorities, handling financial issues, and navigating probate laws. There can also be the added expense of probate, depending on where you live. Trust me, these are the last things you want to do when your heart has just been ripped out by death. That said, someone has to attend to the legal and financial side of losing someone. I highly recommend that you ask someone your trust for help with these tasks. Perhaps a family friend, attorney, or a relative not especially close to the deceased can take some of it off of your hands.
Talk To and about Your Lost Loved Ones
Truthfully, I have never stopped talking to and about every loved one I have lost. It is a way of keeping their spirits alive for me. I know they are in my heart and soul. When something positive or challenging happens, I share it with my mom especially. The other thing that helps me live with the loss of a loved one is to talk about them to others. My children love to hear stories about my mom, grandparents, and brother. Sharing stories, photos, and keepsakes is a beautiful way to process grief and uphold your loved ones’ legacies.
The death of a loved one is a big trauma. This event deserves all of your attention and effort to process it the way that serves you. There are no rules and if someone tries to tell you there are, I would distance myself from that person. Grieve your way, and take all the time that you need to feel good again. Be well, my friends.