There are few sources of stress more traumatizing – or more inevitable – than dealing with the death of a loved one. This could be a cherished grandparent, parent, sibling, spouse, or anybody else who you hold to your heart. The grieving process is a difficult one to get through, and there are many ways people act out – both healthy and unhealthy. Regardless of how you cope with it, there are certain things to keep in mind, and ways to deal with the stress that comes from the death of a loved one.
Everybody Grieves Differently
The most important factor to keep in mind is that coping with death is something that people handle in their own way. It is not something that has a uniform set of steps that are universal to every human being on earth. If your way of grieving is different from the way another person grieved then there is no shame in that, there is nothing wrong with you.
This also comes in terms of timeframe. Some people require years to fully work through their grief, so do not let people tell you it has been “too long” and it is time to “move on.” If your grief paralyzes you and keeps you from moving on that would be one issue to deal with. If you are simply working through some residual emotions connected to that grief? Then work through them at your own pace and let nobody rush you.
Keep on Living
Tying in with the previous point – do not let your grief stop you. It is important to keep moving forward regardless of how hard it is. While everybody needs time to grieve, make sure you are taking steps to return to normal living while you do so. Start small – make sure your bed is made, take a shower regularly, exercise. After the first couple weeks head back to work (if you were able to take a vacation) and settle into familiar routines.
You are still allowed to grieve, you are still allowed to mourn, you are still allowed to cry. You are allowed to feel whatever you want to feel – just make sure you keep moving.
Let it all Out
Emotions are meant to be expressed – it’s how people are wired. Do not let somebody tell you that it is improper for you to be feeling the way you do – simply let those emotions out. Do your job, keep the house clean, and do everything else you need to but feel free to let out your emotions. Those who would shame you for it are probably not worth listening to in the first place.
Do Not Go It Alone
The best way to get through your grief is in company. Friends and family all share in your loss, and it is important to find company where you can to help share in that grief. Mutual expression of the emotions associated with loss are essential to help everybody move forward. They establish common ground and, perhaps most importantly, they allow healthy expressions of grief and remind you that you are not in this alone.