Grief and Loss: Helping Yourself and Others Cope

No one reaction exists to grief. Some people feel a dark cloud overshadowing them; others feel a sense of relief that their loved one is in a better place and free from suffering. Although no one reaction is universal, the experience of grief is, and learning strategies for coping is important to the human experience.

Express What You’re Comfortable With

Some individuals will tell you that you should cry it all out, and others will say that you should beat up a pillow when you’re feeling angry. However, you might be a person who simply isn’t comfortable expressing yourself in that way, and that is okay. Know that as long as you aren’t hurting yourself, other people or animals, you are free to express yourself as you see fit.

Grief and Loss: Helping Yourself and Others Cope

Look Toward Religion or Spirituality

Even if you are a person with questionable faith, looking toward religion or spirituality can help to guide you. At the most basic level, simply believing that the world is, at its core, a benevolent place can help you to recognize that your loved one is free from pain and agony. Some people turn their back on any faith when they have lost a loved one, but doing so can cause you to miss the bigger picture of life.

Find Expression and Inspiration

Not all people are capable of, or want to, sit down and express their emotions in a conversation. Instead, they would rather put the emotions that they feel into a work of art or an inspirational piece to provide joy to others. Whether you want to write a novel about your experiences with your mother or you wish to run onto the baseball field every week to preserve the memory of your father, taking this energy and putting it into a positive activity helps you to honor your loved one. A specialist from Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care recommends finding the form of expression which is most comfortable to you, rather than trying to express your grief in an unfamiliar or potentially destructive way.

Don’t Forget

Sometimes, bringing up the memory of a deceased loved one causes pain. Yet if you practice doing it, you may find that talking about the person actually makes you happy. The individual is physically deceased, but that does not mean that the memory of the person has to perish as well. By talking about the individual and recalling the good times that you had with him or her, you are helping to keep the person’s memory alive. The more you practice talking about the person, the easier it will become.

Grief is an emotion that almost all humans must feel at some point, and coming together to help one another can assist in making a healthy recovery.