It’s a situation that no one wants to contemplate, but sadly bereavement is a real fact of life. At some point, we all suffer the death of a loved one, and that’s an extremely challenging thing to deal with. It can literally feel like the end of the world, and you can struggle to cope with ordinary life. Everything is turned upside down and your emotional resilience is put to the biggest test of all. The idea of moving on and letting go of pain can seem completely unthinkable. But there will be light at the end of the tunnel. In the grip of things though, what are you supposed to do? What is normal? And what practical steps can help you through this devastating time?
Shock Is Normal
If someone you love dies, whether it’s at the end of a long illness or a complete bolt from the blue, your first emotion is likely to be shock. You may not be able to process what has happened for a while, or understand the full implications on your life. Although it may not seem it, this is actually a good thing. Your brain is protecting you from the worst of the initial impact and allowing you to do what needs to be done to survive the initial impact. It’s perfectly normal to feel numb or disbelieving for a while. Once the situation starts to process, you may then be hit with waves of different emotions – none of which are the ‘wrong’ way to feel. It may be helpful to see a grief counsellor to help you work through these phases.
Practice Self Care
Looking after ourselves can seem somehow selfish in the wake of a great tragedy, and yet it’s absolutely vital – and also what your loved one would have wanted. You may have to focus on practical things for a while, such as making funeral arrangements. In the hands of a good undertakers service, such as https://heartofenglandfuneralcare.co.uk/ you will be supported to take care of this with minimal strain. Find things that help you to cope and find some small solace – for some people, this may be sharing memories with someone who also loved the deceased, for others it can be finding comfort in something like art or being outside in nature. Others use exercise as a tool to help them cope. Just be mindful that you use positive habits to support your grieving process rather than turning to unhealthy mechanisms such as alcohol.
Give Yourself Time
Grief is a process and it’s never linear. You may be going along just fine for a while, only to find yourself hit with a wave of sadness or anger when you least expect it. There’s no time limit – you just have to follow your own path. Most people find that the pain changes over time – from being very raw and overwhelming to being something different. Give yourself permission to mourn in your own way – just know that there will come a day when you can smile again.
Lots of Love