|My Father's Funeral|
The loss of a loved one is one of the hardest things to ever have to live through in life. Whether it was a close friend, a partner or spouse, a parent or child, nothing can prepare you for the feelings of loss and hopelessness that you encounter when you lose a loved one. Everybody responds differently in this situation, so it is hard to know what is best for you, but there are some things that are important to remember, as they will help you deal with your grief and allow you to progress onwards with your life.
“Time heals all wounds” It is a terribly cliché phrase, but one that is eventually true. You may feel now, or a couple of months down the line, that you will never get over the loss of your loved one. This is true, however the pain from their passing will fade with time, as you get on with your life and learn to live without the life you have lost.
You must also give yourself time to grieve. Locking your feelings away in a box and throwing the key does no good, eventually those feelings will bubble over and you will end up having a breakdown. Take time out to remember your loved one, perhaps even five minutes each day. If you feel emotional, take yourself away from the situation. Everyone feels grief, but how you deal with it is important.
Talk to Others
Some people may want to shut themselves off from other people, particularly if the one they have lost was influential in a lot of people’s lives. Other members of your family may want to talk to you, to share their grief with you, and you should let them. Be there for them and then allow yourself to speak about how the loss is affecting you. This way you will share the experience, you will be strong for each other, and the support of others will help you get back on your feet.
If you really cannot speak to your family about your feelings, there are professionals who will help you through the grieving process, but remember to listen to your family. They are there to help and support you, and they only want to provide you with love.
Don’t Get Lost
You may feel like staying inside, locking all the doors and turning all the lights off to block out the outside world but this is just boxing you in with your grief. Although you need to accept your grief you must not let it control you. Take a walk through a park, visit a friend, eat out at a restaurant. Focus on simple tasks that allow you to carry on with your life.
But don’t overdo it. You may be tempted to completely fill your diary with new activities, shopping trips, dinner dates, but this is just avoidance. You need to come to terms with your grief, and this means taking time out to deal with it. Overloading yourself with other chores will just end up making you stressed and tired. Relax.
Grief is not a black and white emotion. It comes in ebbs and flows, it can overwhelm you in an instant and it stays with you for a long time. But don’t let it control your life. Be your own person, live in the moment and remember your loved one with happiness always.
About the Author
Katy Adam is a grief counselor with over 20 years of experience in helping people come to terms with loss. She has contributed this article on behalf of Brighton & Hove Psychotherapy who offer a wide range of therapies and counselling services to clients across Brighton & Hove.