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Dealing with a loss of any kind is never easy. It is especially difficult and trying when that loss is the result of a death. Throughout your life, you will encounter death at different times and it never gets easier, however, you can find helpful ways to cope, learn, and move forward. Moving forward is a better way to think about it than “moving on” because the people or special animals in your life have become an important part of it. You never want to move on or away from their memory, only forward in your own life with the precious memories moving along with you. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to deal with loss or death but do not know where to turn, keep reading for some helpful tips and resources to help you deal with your grief and loss.
Mourn the Loss
Experiencing a loss or suffering through the death of someone or something you loved dearly is not to be taken lightly. No matter what anyone tells you, it is perfectly fine to be in the moment and feel all of your feelings. Why not try to be with the grief, sadness, and despair when it comes to you? Cry when you need to and allow the tears to provide you comfort and release. Be intentional throughout your grieving. If you have lost a beloved pet, for example, you can work through your feelings by focusing on specific ways to experience your emotions. Learn more about this and decide what will work best for you, or try a few different things to help you clarify your way forward. Remember that it is alright to honor the loved one who is no longer on this earth and keep them in your heart.
Be with Your People
Your friends and family members are bounteous resources for help when you are dealing with a loss. More than likely, many of them have been through something similar or at least have empathetic dispositions to help you through it. Being alone is necessary at different stages in your life and even when you are overcome with grief. At other times, being with the people you love is medicine in and of itself. Your people are the ones who love and accept you. They are the ones who genuinely want to support you in your time of need. Whether you sit together in your home with a warm cup of tea or go out for a walk in the sunshine and fresh air, being with friends and family is a good thing that will help you right now.
So often, people are tough and independent to the point of pushing others away. This is an especially concerning personality trait when it comes to dealing with a death. It is effortless to keep doing what you do without outside assistance just because you have always done so. It does not have to be that way, and it should not be that way when you are grieving. When someone asks, “How can I help?” or “What can I do?” – give them a real task. Let them pick up dinner, deliver your mail to the front door, pick up a birthday present for someone else, shovel the driveway, and the list goes on and on. Allow them to be useful. If they did not want to help you, they would not ask. Give your friends and family realistic jobs that are too emotionally draining to tackle yourself right now. After all, you know full well that you will do the same should they need help someday.
Finding calm in the stressful time of loss is hard, if not seemingly impossible, to achieve. You can get there, however, by going through the motions of meditation. If, at first, nothing seems to work during your meditation sessions, keep trying. Much of what the practice of meditation gives you is a quiet, repetitive space to block everything out and hone in on your breathing and the power of mindfulness. Watch or listen to this short guided meditation session to help you relax and perhaps even get some much-needed rest.
Find an Outlet
Sometimes, when you are dealing with a loss of any type, the best thing to do is simply to do something to move your mind in a different direction. That outlet may be a satchel of books from your local library, planting something new in your backyard to remember your loved one, or baking the latest bread trend. Whatever it is, make it light-hearted so it does not add any extra weight of responsibility to your already heavy plate.
Know When To Get Help
While it is fine to go through the varying stages of grief, it is imperative for yourself and the well-being of those around you that you seek professional assistance when you need it. Sometimes, people become mired in depression and feel helpless and hopeless. They feel there is no way forward without the person or pet they have lost right beside them. When that happens, it is time to contact a licensed therapist.
A professional counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist is specially trained to help you throughout the stages of grief and beyond. They will help you work through what you are feeling, any regrets you may have regarding the relationship, and will assist you in mapping out a way to move forward in your life.
Death is part of life. That is a cold fact that is difficult to bear for so many people. If you find yourself in a situation where you are experiencing the aftermath of a loss in your life, always know that you are not alone. Find the best resources that will help you in that moment. Sometimes they will change as you change. Stay the course and correct it as often as you need to. Any loss that affects your life is now part of it; but, that does not mean you cannot progress happily in your own life. Give someone a hug today, and you will get where you need to be again.