Learning How to Cope with the Loss of a Loved One
Everyone experiences grief differently. There is no set time for how long grief endures and there is no “right or wrong” way to grieve. Regardless of a person’s way of coping with loss, grief is almost always associated with a lot of emotional pain. It is important to understand that grieving and experiencing sadness is not a form of weakness – it is merely a sign that you are experiencing the impact of losing a person whom you loved. In fact, as we read from Scripture, we know that Jesus wept over the death of his friend, Lazarus (John 11).
Here are some tips that you can use to take care of yourself:
- Going out for a walk or getting some exercise
- Drinking plenty of water
- Eating balanced meals
- Sharing your thoughts and emotions with friends
- Journaling and capturing your thoughts on paper
- Finding outlets for creativity such as painting, scrapbooking, writing, playing music etc.
- Joining support groups or creating a network of supportive friends and family when you are ready
- Praying – draw comfort from your spirituality
- Seeking spiritual guidance/pastoral support
- Giving yourself permission to mourn, to grieve, and to heal in your way and in your own time
- Establishing your own healing rituals, (i.e., lighting candles in the evening, writing letters to a deceased loved one, visiting their favorite places on special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, visit them often at the cemetery)
- Talk to a Doctor – speaking to a trained professional will help you to cope
Find ways to take care of yourself during these days and find people who will listen to your pain without judgement and without forcing you to rush through your grief. Sometimes, it can be healthy to reach out and seek professional counselling as you walk through this time.
For a list of vetted Catholic Counsellors, please click here.