Bereavement, grief, loss - Tips
Tips for coping with bereavement, grief and loss
Would you like some tips and advice how to deal with bereavement, grief and loss?
This forum is a great place to:
- explore several tips.
- respond to tips / share your experience.
- share the tips that work for you.
What's your tip how to deal with bereavement, grief and loss?
Tip 1 - Allow support
There is no time limit for grief. Often, after the first six weeks, it seems like you have to continue with 'normal' life. It can be that you put your sadness away because you're not supposed to be sad anymore.
Nobody asks you how you are doing anymore. While maybe the pain you feel inside, gets even stronger than before.
Allow support, ask for someone to hold you or be silent with you. Do not put yourself in a time frame for your grieving process. Realize that the person you lost, will be in a different way forever with you now.
Tip 2 - Keep taking care of yourself
It is important to take your feelings serious. You do not have to feel ashamed of your thoughts or feelings.
Allow yourself to take your time. Some people need more time then others. Memories can help you with the bereavement, like pictures or writing down memories.
Keep taking good care of yourself:
- Go to bed on normal times.
- Get up in time and get dressed
- Use three meals a day on fixed times.
- Avoid using alcohol or drugs.
- Keep going to work if possible.
- Support your relaxation by doing things you like.
For many people it helps to talk with somebody they trust, about what you think and feel. Also when you at first don't feel like it. Or when you believe that others do not want to listen to your stories. Often it gives a good feeling in the end and you do not feel so alone. The warmth of close friends and family can help a lot with your grieving process,
Tip 3 - Allow yourself to grieve for the loss
Realise the changes in your live and allow yourself to grieve for the loss is helpful as it allows us to process and accept that our life has changed.
If we take a look at the feelings loss brings up these can come about due to various life events, such as:
- The loss of a job due to redundancy, retirement or dismissal
- Relocation - moving to a different area
- Relationship breakdown
- Loss of a pet
- Loss of health
- Graduating from school/college
- Being the victim of an emotional or physical attack
Counselling can help you explore these losses in a safe, confidential, non-judgemental space.
Tip 5 - Book tip: Grief Day by Day
I have just finished reading the book "Grief Day by Day: Simple Practices and Daily Guidance for Living With Loss" by Jan Warner.
After working for over 4 years with bereaved clients I found this amazing and very true to all the emotions that I have seen my clients go through.
It is so true to life, with practical support and ideas. The author normalises all the ways to be or not be and encourages people to grieve in their own way in their own time.
Tip 6 - Hold your pain of loss
Mourning is the other side of love. You mourn because you have loved somebody. Holding the pain of loss, that is often crude, can create space for something new.
Sometimes this is hard to do alone. Then it is good to ask for help. Sometimes the loss also stirs up old pain that did not dissolve yet. Then it can feel like a lot to deal with. As a therapist, I like to work with walks in nature. That can be very consolatory and create space.
Tip 7 - Dare to mourn
A son that lived with his parents until he was 29 years old, never dared to mourn for the loss of his parents. First very sudden his father had died and ten years later, also very sudden, his mother. He became a father himself, but he still never went to see their grave. Afraid to face the pain.
Then problems arose in his relationship. A distance grew between him and his wife and their child. The loyalty he had to his deceased mother was so strong, that he adopted her pattern 'not to talk about problems'. He didn't share with his wife and was very introvert. It made his wife feel excluded and alone with her son.
The solution started when they together went to visit the grave of his parents. There they could mourn together and his sadness could finally find a way out. After this, they could slowly start to rebuild their relationship.
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