How To Cope With The Loss of a Loved One
Having recently experienced this, I can honestly say that it isn’t easy. There is no way to soften the blow, and there is nothing really I can say to make you feel better. And you don’t need to feel better.
No amount of “they’re in a better place” (s) is going to help you feel better. Or at least it didn’t make me feel better. So this brings me to my first piece of advice.
Allow yourself to grieve
There is no weakness or shame in crying and grieving. Losing someone you love hurts, so don’t hold back your tears. Allow yourself to feel the feelings that are coming up. If you don’t, you might explode and that’s sounds like a mess, yeah?
Take care of your body
Losing someone you love is emotionally and physically draining. The bare minimum you need to accomplish throughout the day is to give your body what it needs. Don’t forget your medication, drink lots of water, and eat.
I know sometimes eating is the last thing on your mind, but you’ll cope better when your body feels healthy and nourished.
Continue your routine
Another piece of advice that’s crucial to coping with the loss of a loved one is continuing your routine.
This means you should try to remember to shower, brush your teeth, brush your hair, feed yourself, feed your animals, water your plants, exercise, and clean your house.
If some of these are too much for you at first, give yourself a break. Take a nap and eat a tub of ice cream in bed if you need to. There is no right way to grieve, so give yourself time.
Surround yourself with people who love you
People who truly love you will have your best interests in mind. They will give you space if you need it, they’ll give you comfort if you need it, and be a great listener.
Ask for help
An important lesson I’ve learned over the past few weeks is that asking for help is perfectly fine. In fact, I highly encourage it. If it weren’t for the help of my family through this time, I don’t know what I would’ve done. Probably blown up.
So don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. There is no shame in asking for help, and this is no time to handle everything yourself.
I am so incredibly grateful for all the love, support, and help I received lately. My family took the liberty of cleaning and calling for a day or so before I arrived to help ease my pain. It helped me tremendously.
Turn off your phone
One amazing piece of advice I received from the dear man at the mortuary is this: Turn off your phone. All the logistics and phone calls are extremely overwhelming, and as mentioned before, take care of yourself first.
I was getting phone calls dozens of times a day it seemed like and I was getting so stressed. I mentioned that to him one day, and he told me to turn off my phone and treat myself to lunch.
Even if it is for just a few hours while you’re eating or relaxing, take that time to give yourself a break. You need those to keep going.
I felt so relieved that I finally got permission to turn my phone off, and now I’m giving you permission.
Turn your phone off, breathe, and eat something that will make your heart and soul happy.
Understand that feeling better is not linear
Give yourself time and compassion while you’re healing. Healing after something so tragic is not going to be linear.
You may feel better one day, and the next feel worse than the day before. There is no time limit in which you need to “get over it”. If you break down a week, a month, or a year from now that’s okay. Time helps you feel better, but you’ll never stop missing them.
I’ll share a poem that I found on Pinterest with you that I used for my dad’s obituary.
Forever in our hearts
Fill not your hearts with pain and sorrow, but remember me in every tomorrow.
Remember the joy, the laughter, the smiles, I’ve only gone to rest a while.
Although my leaving causes pain and grief, my going has eased my hurt and given me relief.
So, dry your eyes and remember me, not as I am now, but as I used to be.
I will remember you all and look on with a smile, understand in your hearts, I’ve only gone to rest a while.
As long as I have the love of each of you, I can live my life in the hearts, of all of you.
I hope this poem gave you the same tear-filled smile it gave me, knowing that your loved one will never really be gone as long as you keep them in our heart.
My favorite memory of my dad and I is when we used to sit on his porch in the mountains. We would sit on the porch and drink coffee as the sun came up. We would sit in silence as we’d listen to the birds chirping and the mountains waking up for another day.
I often forget how silent, yet full of life the country is. I love the bliss we would share, sitting there with the morning sun shining on our faces.
If you’ve lost someone, please share your best memory with them in the comments.