Inevitably, there will be upcoming anniversaries and days such as Christmas and birthdays, in which you have previously shared with your deceased loved one. These will be difficult moments in which the absence of your loved one is particularly prominent and normal grief reactions may be intensified.
For some people, the lead-up to the event is sometimes more tough than the actual date of the occasion or anniversary. In cases like these, some people find it helpful to make plans ahead of time to help keep themselves distracted or spend the day with other family and friends. Other people find it useful to plan something special to help remember their loved on. For example doing an activity you both enjoyed, visiting a place they liked, cooking their favourite meal, or perhaps sharing their memory with others. Everyone is different and what might work for someone might not be helpful for someone ese but here a few suggestions for coping with grief after losing a loved one
- -It's okay to cry and it's okay to just take it one day by day, or even hour by hour. There is no right or wrong way to remember someone, do what feels right for you
- -Although you might feel like isolating yourself, it's important to accept help and stay connected with family friends. Surround yourself with people who listen and support you. Allow them to help with daily tasks and reach out for support when you need it.
- -Some people turn to alcohol, drugs, or medication to help cope with the grief. However, this is a short-term relief and can often lead to making you feel worse afterwards. Try to find healthy ways of coping with the grief and pain. Some people find listening to music comforting or many choose to do something expressive such as painting or journaling.
- -Many people feel angry after losing a loved one. Its okay to give yourself the permission to express this anger in a way that doesn't hurt yourself or someone else. Some healthy ways of releasing this anger can be punching a pillow, tearing old newspapers, doing some vigorous exercise, or screaming and shouting.
- -Many people find themselves losing their appetite or feel unmotivated during a period of grief. Although it's hard, try and eat healthy, get regular exercise, and a good amount of sleep
- -It can be helpful to allocate some time to just grief. During this period they can express whatever they are feeling. Some people find it comforting to have a photo of their loved one or something special that belonged to them to hold.
- -Speak to your G.P for advice and help on any physical symptoms you may be experiencing. Some people also find it helpful to see a counsellor or a psychologist. You don't have to go through this alone!
To talk to someone who cares and will listen please call LETSS on 1800 013 755 or start a webchat via www.letss.org.au for further mental health support.
(image by Paola Chaaya from Unsplash)