Do not grieve, for I am not there, the poet
encourages us to not stand by our loved ones grave and grieve. However grieve we must. We grieve the loss of the person. We grieve
for the things they left undone. We
grieve for the glorious times we shared, then we grieve for ourselves.
Losing someone you love is very difficult. Often
times it opens up wounds that were scabbed over long ago, then past hurt and
pain comes rushing back to the surface and the wound is torn open like it
happened yesterday. Why was this sore
not dealt with? In some cultures, the
rule is to say nothing, hold your piece, just get through this period and all
will be well. Unfortunately, it does not
work. It is as important to go through
pain as it is the joys of life. While grief is a personal experience, unique to each
family member and unique to the loss of a parent, a sibling, a child, or
extended family members, each person must find their own coping
strategies. The following strategies
provide a few suggestions to help you ride out the emotional waves as you cope
with your grief.
with grief and loss:
Helpguide.org. provides some great tips to help you
ride out your storm. First and for most,
take care of yourself. The stress of a major loss can
quickly deplete your energy and emotional reserves. Looking after your physical
and emotional needs will help you get through this difficult time.
- Face your feelings. You
can try to suppress your grief, but you can’t avoid it forever. In order
to heal, you have to acknowledge the pain. Trying to avoid feelings of
sadness and loss only prolongs the grieving process. Unresolved grief can
also lead to complications such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and
- Express your feelings in a tangible or creative way. Write about your loss in a journal. If you’ve lost a
loved one, write a letter saying the things you never got to say; make a
scrapbook or photo album celebrating the person’s life; or get involved in
a cause or organization that was important to him or her.
- Look after your physical health. The mind and body are connected. When you feel good
physically, you’ll also feel better emotionally. Combat stress and fatigue
by getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising. Don’t use alcohol
or drugs to numb the pain of grief or lift your mood artificially.
- Don’t let anyone tell you how to feel, and don’t tell
yourself how to feel either.
Your grief is your own, and no one else can tell you when it’s time to
“move on” or “get over it.” It’s okay to be angry, to cry or not to cry.
It’s also okay to laugh, to find moments of joy, and to let go when you’re
- Plan ahead for grief “triggers.” Anniversaries, holidays, and milestones can reawaken
memories and feelings.
- Turn to friends and family members –
Now is the time to lean on the people who care about you, even if you take
pride in being strong and self-sufficient. Draw loved ones close, rather than
avoiding them, and accept the assistance that’s offered.
- Draw comfort from your faith –
If you follow a religious tradition, embrace the comfort its mourning rituals
can provide. Spiritual activities that are meaningful to you – such as praying,
meditating, or going to church – can offer solace.