There's no right or wrong way to cope or grieve the loss of a loved one. If you find yourself struggling to come to terms with loss, here are tips that may help.
Talk about the death of your loved one. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with friends, family or colleagues may help you understand what happened and remember your friend or family member. It's important to the healing process to reach out to your support systems rather than isolating yourself.
Accept your feelings. Grief comes in many forms. You may experience a wide range of emotions from sadness, anger, guilt, regret, or shock. These feelings are normal and it's important to recognize them. If you feel stuck or overwhelmed by these emotions, it might be helpful to talk with a licensed psychologist or other mental health professional who can help you address your feelings and find ways to cope.
Take care of yourself and your family. Eating healthy foods, exercising, and getting enough sleep are important to both your physical and emotional health. The grieving process can take a toll. Make sure you check in with your loved ones and that they are taking the necessary healthy steps to maintain their health, too.
Reach out and help others dealing with the loss. Spending time with loved ones of the deceased can help. Whether it's sharing stories or listening to your loved one's favorite music, these experiences can make a big difference to coping with loss. Helping others can have the added benefit of making you feel better as well.
Remember and celebrate the lives of your loved ones. Anniversaries of a lost loved one can be a difficult time for friends and family, but it can also be a time for remembrance and honoring those no longer with you. You might decide to collect donations to a favorite charity of the deceased, pass on a family name to a baby, plant a memory garden, or make and share a cherished recipe. Choose something that allows you to honor your loved one.
Know that it may take time. You may have heard about the different "stages of grief," but you should also know that not everyone needs to go through all the stages and even if you do, there's no order to follow. There may be times when you're coping well and other times when grief might be triggered. Your journey is unique to you. Remember that moving on is okay. It doesn't mean you've forgotten your loved one, the loss just becomes part of your life.