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How to cope with grief and loss

The death of a close family member, friend or a loved one is an event that all of us is likely to experience during our lifetimes, sadly, even on numerous occasions. While your life will be transformed by loss and pain, this doesn’t necessarily have to be for the worse in the long term. Making sure that you positively deal with grief is essential for your recovery process and ability to continue with your own life – perhaps even fulfilling your dreams or making changes for the better. Each and every one of us will grieve in our own unique way. You can expect those around you to be full of ideas, many not particularly helpful, of how you should grieve. In some cases, you may even be told that grief passes in set stages. You can also expect others to think that you should get over grief in a shorter period of time than you feel necessary, or ready for. Remember grief is a personal process and you should take your own time to process your emotions.

No clear process

In fact, grief is about a lot more than just feelings – it can also affect your thoughts and subconscious mind. Often when grieving, people pass for periods of disbelief, which can happen even long after the death itself. You can also expect feelings of confusion or difficulty in focusing your thoughts. Physical responses are also a natural part of the grieving process. Tightness and chest pains, upset stomach, chill and hot flushes, or even fainting and dizziness are just some of the ways that the body reacts to grief. In some cases, people experience prolonged periods of lethargy or extreme tiredness. Others find that they sit and do nothing for long periods without even realizing, while others carry out “searching behavior” — looking out for a loved one in a public place or a crowd, even though you know that they are gone. You may also find that you become attached to possessions or clothes that remind you of your loved one – while some people prefer to get rid of any belongings as they find that these are difficult reminders. These are all normal behaviors, and it’s important to take time to allow your body and mind to cope.

Coping with death

It can also be difficult to cope with grief when the cause of death is sudden or unprovoked. Accidents or the loss of a loved one due to an unattended death can increase feelings of helplessness and stress at an already difficult time. If you are finding it difficult to cope, death cleanup services can help alleviate the stress while enabling you to start planning funeral preparations. When planning a funeral or memorial service, make sure that you consider why you want to hold this event. You may want to hold a funeral so that your friends and family can pay their last respects or have the opportunity to say goodbye to the deceased for the last time. Others choose to hold a memorial service to celebrate life – exchanging songs, poems and memories. How you choose to say goodbye will depend on personal preference, so take your time with the planning and arrangements.

A gradual reawakening

It’s very common to feel lacking in energy, discouraged and down or depressed when dealing with grief and loss. When you are still vulnerable, consider that this period is the winter of your grief — a prolonged period of feeling rudderless. In fact, without you realizing, something is beginning to grow within you. Without you even realizing, a period of reawakening will eventually occur, alongside renewed hope and a lust for life. You won’t feel like the same person you were before — in fact, grief can make people feel like they have grown or passed into a new phase of life. These periods of change can feel very fluid as you begin to process and deal with your emotions. However, this is all part of your healing and acceptance of your loss. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Dealing with grief is a very personal process for each individual, so take time to process how you feel and be kind to yourself. We all deal with our emotions in different ways, so the amount of time that people take to grieve can vary depending on each individual. Remember to celebrate your loved one’s life and enjoy the fond memories that you have. Don’t rush your healing process.

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