Coping with loss and grief
The death of someone you care about can be very difficult. It’s natural to have strong reactions when someone you love or are close to dies.
When someone dies, there’s no right or wrong way you should feel. Everyone experiences bereavement differently. But you don’t have to cope on your own.
Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to feel better straight away. These feelings will change over time. It’s important to accept how you feel.
It can be common to feel anger, that anger can be directed at the person who has died for leaving you. You might find these emotions very tough to deal with but there are things that can help you cope. Talking to someone about how you feel, it may feel difficult to talk to people who are close to you, who are also grieving. You might worry that you’ll upset them more, but if your family can share their feelings then that can be helpful.
Try to accept your feelings, nobody can tell you how you should be feeling about the death of someone close – everyone has their own way of dealing with loss. Crying is one way, and is not a weakness. It can be a huge relief to cry your feelings out. If you don’t feel like crying, don’t worry. That’s also okay. There are many different ways of grieving, so go with how you feel and be patient with yourself. It may take time for your feelings to settle.
Do your best to eat well and get plenty of rest. You may find that you want to sleep more, especially soon after someone has died. You may also have dreams about the person who has died. This is your body’s way of coping with what has happened.
If you feel like it, doing some exercise may help you to de-stress and cope with tiredness and anxiety.
If someone dies unexpectedly you often have to deal with shock and anxiety. If the person you love ended their own life, it can be a very confusing and frightening time for you.
Everyone reacts to death in different ways. Some of the ways that people react include feeling shocked and numb, you might have trouble believing that the person has died, or feel like you can’t take it in. You might have thoughts and feelings that you haven’t felt before.
You may feel guilty; you might be blaming yourself in some way for what has happened. Maybe you had an argument before they died. Or regret something you said or did. There might be something you wish you could have done. It’s normal to be left with these difficult feelings. But it’s important not to blame yourself. It might be helpful to ask yourself what the person you’ve lost might say about your feelings. Would they want you to feel responsible for things in the past that can no longer be changed? What might they say to you if they were still able to talk to you?
Scared can be another feeling you might experience, It may seem like everything has changed very suddenly. This can feel very scary. You might also be worried about practical things such as money or where you’re going to live. Things may not be the same. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be happier times in the future.
If someone was very ill or was suffering you might feel relief that their pain has stopped. You might feel relieved or happy if someone who was hurting you or abusing you has died. All of these thoughts and feelings are normal.
You might feel like life has no meaning anymore, and that you don’t know how to go on. You may feel that you want to be with the person who has died. Be patient – in time you may find it is easier to cope.
Try and make time to think about the happy times you had together. You could collect special reminders such as photos or gifts that help you remember the good times you had together. You can keep these in a box or safe place so you’ll always be reminded of the person.
You might want to do this straight away, or you may want to wait a while. You may not want to do it at all. The most important thing is finding what feels right for you.
You may find that birthdays and special events are times when you miss them most. Doing something to remember them can really help.
As you can see from what is written here there is not right or wrong way to feel, everyone will cope in their own unique way.
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