Thursday, July 2, 2020

How Do You Carry On When You've Lost A Loved One?

Grief is a long and painful process. It is one of the most challenging experiences you will make in your lifetime. Whether the passing of a loved one is expected, the pain remains a complex, and multi-layered journey. 

The grieving process is typically described as a unique and individual journey. While there is support available, nobody can go through the grieving process for you. As a result, you will go through the different stages of grief at your own pace, from denial to acceptance. There is no right or wrong. As everybody is different, the process can take an indefinite amount of time depending on your personality, life experience, emotional coping style, and relationship to the person. 

However, once you have accepted the loss, the grieving process is far from being over. A lot of people find it hard to go back to their lives. It is understandable to worry about going back to your routine, especially when the loss of a loved one forever transforms the routine. Life carries on after the loss of a loved one, and simple, practical steps can help you go back to your old self. 

Join a class
The lockdown has enabled many of us to try out a variety of activities online. For people who are left in limbo after a grieving period, online classes have been the perfect excuse to explore new things without needing to commit. Commitment is a common worry after grief. It is natural to want to reduce interactions that could force you to redefine your routine. After grief, you are left in limbo, lost between the world of the dead and the living. But, signing up for an online class can provide a gentle and somewhat managed interruption of your day-to-day life. A lot of online yoga teachers have found virtual classes more intimate as they give an insight into someone’s life and routine. Many are happy to reach out to their students and build a bond as the class carries on. It may be the beginning of a new friendship and the key to encouraging you to go out of your comfort zone. 

Reclaim your home
You shouldn’t throw away the memories you created with your loved one. However, seeing familiar items that they gave you or that were theirs every day can be difficult. Perhaps, you want to keep those safe in a box in the attic until you are ready to face them again. You can focus your attention on creating a new interior that doesn’t remind you of them too much, such as organizing kitchen cabinets and removing the mug they gave you. Create a clean space in which you control how your decor makes you feel. You may want to change your interior again in a few months when you hurt less. It doesn’t matter! The process of cleaning and clearing your home is therapeutic in its own right. 

Forgive yourself
When you go through grief, it is hard to say goodbye to someone who isn’t here anymore. A grief counselor can help you move through the stages of grief and progress towards self-healing. A lot of counselors have found that a lot of former clients come back for help when they are ready to restart their lives. Indeed, when you start to re-experience pleasures and joy after the loss of a loved one, you are left wondering whether you should have fun again. What you feel at this moment is guilt. You are divided between missing someone you love and enjoying your life. A grief counselor or a therapist can help you discuss your emotions and understand that being happy doesn’t reduce the extent of your affection for the person you’ve lost. 

Care for another living creature who needs you
Grief is a difficult journey. But you’ll be surprised by how much adopting a pet can transform your experience of it. Pets can naturally help to transform your brain and increase the presence of happy hormones in your system. They also offer companionship, making sure that you can become familiar with contact and social relationships. Grief can be an isolating experience, so finding a furry friend who forces you to face interactions is the way back to society. You’ll be surprised, as well, to know that most pets, dogs and cats, are emotionally tuned in so they notice subtle changes in your behavior and can help you cope by lowering stress and anxiety.  

Grief doesn’t end when you’ve accepted the loss of your loved one. Grief fully ends when you create a new routine that suits you and go back to your old self. It is a journey that is paved by guilt, fear of connection, pain, and isolation. But simple tips can force your path back to life and help you move away from grief. 

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