Losing someone we love is one of the toughest things we face and we all deal with it differently. Grief can affect our emotions, physical health, behaviour, beliefs and how we interact with others. Some people experience anger or regret, some feel overwhelmed or isolated. Often, we experience things that are quite out of character, becoming irritable or numb for instance.
They’re all common when you’re grieving and they’re all perfectly okay: we all respond differently. Be kind to yourself and take the time and space you need.
Here are some tips that can help you through:
- Talking really can help. It’s not always easy but chatting with friends, family, your GP or a registered psychologist can help you understand and process how you’re feeling. It’s also a way to stay connected with those who care about you: try to find a balance of alone time and time with others.
- Honour your loved one in a way that’s meaningful to you. That might be by writing a letter or a song, planting a tree, holding a memorial service or treasuring a particular possession.
- Plan ahead. Some moments will be tougher than others: try to have a friend or family member around for support. And when people offer their condolences, it can help to have a response ready: “Thanks, I appreciate your thoughts” might be all you need to say.
- Look after your physical wellbeing. A healthy diet, regular exercise and plenty of sleep will all help you feel more yourself. Try to make time for your favourite activities and things that boost your mood too.
- Get back to your routine: work, study, hobbies or regular catch ups with friends. It’s pretty common to feel guilty doing this while we figure out the world in the context of our loss: take it slowly and don’t take on too much.
- Go easy on yourself. Avoid being harsh or critical of yourself and how you’re feeling. Steer clear of big life decisions for a while and avoid using drugs, alcohol or risk-taking behaviour as coping mechanisms or distractions.
TAL offers Grief Support services for family members when a loved one becomes terminally ill or passes away. Learn more about our Grief Support service here.