Losing a member of your family, or a close friend, is traumatic. As some of you know, I’ve written before about losing my mother while I was away at university, and it was something that I was neither prepared for nor equipped to deal with. One of my fellow bloggers, Shevy, has very recently and very sadly lost her husband. Her Young Widow Too Soon blog is both a beautiful tribute to him and a record of how she and her family are coping.
Ways to help you cope with grief and loss
It’s very easy to forget that the death of a loved one can take an emotional, mental, and physical toll on your wellbeing. So it’s very important that you have a good support network around you, to help you. Here are a few suggestions on how to cope with the grief that accompanies loss.
#01 It’s OK not to be OK
It’s important to remember that it’s OK to lose the plot when grieving. Losing a family member or friend can play havoc with both your physical and mental health. So it’s completely acceptable to ask for help and support when you’re struggling. You need to ensure you give yourself time to open up and express your feelings, rather than bottling everything up inside. I didn’t do this at the time (for various reasons) and it’s something that, nearly 25 years later, still affects me from time to time.
#02 Take care of yourself
It’s so easy to let things slide and forget to look after yourself when struggling through the grieving process. Although it’s difficult, you should try to care for yourself too, not just those around you. For example, many people lose their appetite after a loved one dies, or turn to junk food because the effort of preparing meals can feel like too much to cope with. However hard it is, trying to maintain a well-balanced and healthy diet will help to regulate your mood. Please remember, self-care isn’t selfish.
#03 Get enough sleep
Ah sleep. When you’re grieving, it sometimes feels like all you want to do is go to sleep to block out the pain. A good amount of quality sleep will also help to regulate your emotions and leave you feeling better equipped to face the challenges ahead. If, you’re not getting enough sleep though (I didn’t), do please speak to a doctor, who may be able to prescribe some temporary medication to help.
#04 Funeral preparations
When planning your loved one’s funeral, it can be daunting to know where to start. If you’ve never planned a funeral before, there are various factors that you’ll need to consider. Do you know whether your loved one wanted to be buried or cremated, for example? If the latter, then you could take a look at an organisation such as Simple Cremation to get an idea of prices and packages. They also offer a free planning guide to help you decide what might be best for you, and their professional and sensitive team can help with any other queries you may have. My mother wanted to be cremated and her ashes were scattered in the Rose Garden of Remembrance at our local crematorium. I think when my time comes, that’s the way I would prefer to go too.
The death of a loved one, whether sudden and unexpected, or following a long drawn out illness, is something that affects us in more ways than we perhaps realise. Having a close circle of support will do much to help you get back on your feet again. If things get too overwhelming, make sure that you reach out to a friend or family member, or even a professional who will be able to give you guidance and advice. And most of all, remember to be kind to yourself and allow yourself time to grieve. As one of my favourite clients says, time alone is also good for you, it’s healing from the past and preparation for the future.
* This is a sponsored post.