One of the very hardest things in life to deal with is the loss of someone we love. Whether a family member or close friend, whether expected or sudden, the flood of emotions can feel unbearable.

Here’s the thing though. The one you’ve lost wouldn’t want you to grieve forever. You know they would want you to remember them with love, but also to get on with living your life. They will want you to be happy.

Here are six tips for coping with loss:

  1. Be willing to be open. Your first reaction might be to close up. You might feel like hiding away. You will probably need some time alone, where you feel safe to let out your emotions. When you are among others, you might tend to bottle up your feelings. It might be best to trust your instincts during the initial shock, and do whatever helps you to cope the best.Once you’ve recovered from the initial shock, it will help to talk about your loss.
    Talk with those who share your grief and gain that mutual support. You could also talk with someone you know and trust, who isn’t directly involved and can lend a sympathetic but more impartial ear.
  2. It’s okay to cry. You might want to just hold it all in. Perhaps you want to show strength to others who are also bereaved. Men in particular are more likely to hold it in, afraid of showing how bad they are feeling inside. Even though you may have trouble crying in front of others, if you need to cry, it’s important to give yourself  that. You can do so privately if you need to, and will feel better for it.
  3. Focus on the positive. Yes, I know, I know. It won’t be easy, as the mind will do its inevitable wander onto all the things you didn’t say or do. But those negative thoughts just make you feel worse and will keep your mood low. You might even think you want to feel like that, but it isn’t what’s best for you. Instead, remember the good times you shared and all the things you did together that made you both happy. Think about the times you’ve laughed together. Get together with others and share stories about all the positive experiences that you all shared.
  4. Accept your way to grieve. There’s no right or wrong way to grieve the loss of a loved one. However much you read on the subject, you’re still going to have to get through it the best way you can. You’re going to go through different stages of grief, which will involve a variety of feelings and emotions. Give yourself permission to feel the way you do, no matter how that is.
  5. Get help if you need it. If you’re really not managing properly with your day to day life, it might be time to get a little extra help for yourself. Perhaps you could join a local support group, or have a few sessions with a therapist or grief counselor. It’s important not to just assume that you have to manage on your own. There is always help available and you should always seek it out when in need.
  6. Look after your physical health. Bereavement is a type of psychological trauma. When we go through this, our own health can suffer if we don’t look after ourselves properly. So make sure you are eating well and getting healthy exercise.

In normal life there are many types of trauma, but none are quite like bereavement. You need to let yourself feel how you feel. You need to let it out. Take life one step at a time and you can and will get back to living your best life. Remember, that’s what you loved one wants for you!