In the African traditions, it is a taboo to think or discuss one’s death, however, 2020 with the Covid-19 pandemic, has been such a rough year that having such conversations is unavoidable. Essentially, life doesn’t prepare you for the loss of a loved one whether it comes when one expects it or unexpectedly. As such, many people struggle to deal with the pain and sorrow brought by such a loss. There are those who experience this at a young age and as such they are not able to process its impact accordingly.
However, the reality is death is inevitable and everybody will experience the loss of a loved one at least once in their lifetime. Without the right coping mechanism, it can lead to long-term psychological and emotional issues. Additionally, there are also no short-cuts to dealing with the loss of a loved one. On some days, you might need a shoulder to lean on and on others, you might reminisce on the good memories you shared with them.
Here are some ways to deal with the loss of a loved one.
1. Tell Stories
The first stage of grief is shock and denial which usually helps up survive the loss. However, if prolonged, it can lead to feelings of despair and numbness. If you don’t do well with grief, try to turn the situation into a light moment by sharing stories about the deceased. This will not only break the awkward silence but also it acknowledges their departure which helps process the loss in a healthier way.
2. Connect With Them
It’s hard letting go of someone you love especially when you won’t see them again. To keep their memory alive, you can find something meaningful that connects you to them. Whether it’s sitting at their favourite place in the house or playing their favourite music, this will help you feel closer to them even when they are no longer with you.
3. Visit Their Resting Place
Some people might think this is an unhealthy way of dealing with the loss of a loved one. However, visiting their final resting place not only gives you closure but also it’s a way of interacting with them. While there, you can have conversations about your life or talk about your memories with them. Some people even host a whole picnic at their loved one’s grave site. If you find this strange, you can simply bring fresh flowers and make their resting place look nice.
4. Speak With Supportive Friends
People who go through grief often experience feelings of isolation. While it’s perfectly normal to want your space during such times, it’s also important to have a shoulder to lean on when you need it. Your friends are usually the best support system and they’ll be more than willing to give you a listening ear when you’re going through the loss of a loved one. Therefore, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with grief, share your thoughts and emotions with your close friends.
5. Create A Ritual
The hardest part about losing someone you love is the thought of losing them forever. Creating a ritual can be comforting in knowing that they still hold a special place in your heart. Additionally, it will help evoke memories of them, fully embrace the feeling and finally let go. Your ritual should have this three crucial steps to help you deal with the loss. It could be a simple ritual like wearing their clothing item on a special day or just lighting a candle.
6. Take Care Of Yourself
While grieving, it’s easy to forget about your needs such as sleep, nutrition and cleanliness.
Additionally, dealing with the loss of a loved one can have a significant impact on your emotions and energy levels. Be conscious of your well-being and pay attention to your body. If you need an extra hour of sleep, you should get the rest. If you want to eat a second serving, do so. Often times, we mistake this as a coping mechanism but in some cases, it’s your body telling you exactly what it needs.
7. Keep Yourself Busy
They say an idle mind is the devil’s workshop and during such a vulnerable time, it’s easy to get into bad habits such as drug abuse. As such, you should keep yourself busy by setting goals and working towards achieving them. Additionally, you can indulge in your favourite activities that will help pass the time and keep your mind occupied.
8. Avoid Major Life Changes
It’s best to postpone any major events like a wedding, moving out or changing jobs after the
loss of a loved one as this could add more stress to an already stressful situation. Additionally,
some family members and friends may feel it’s disrespectful to host a party while they’re in
mourning. Take the time to honour the deceased’s memory then host the event after everything has settled.
9. Cry It Out
Sometimes, all you need is a good crying session. There’s nothing embarrassing about crying nor is it a sign of weakness. It’s one of the healthy ways of dealing with pain that we all experience at one point. Additionally, crying helps restore emotional balance which is why you often feel a huge relief after a good crying session.
10. Donate To A Charity
You can donate your loved one’s belonging to a home or a needy family. This is a great way to
honour their memory and help you get some closure. If possible, you can start a foundation in
their name that supports a cause that they believed in.