By You Desk
Tue, 07, 24

Coping with the loss of someone is one of life’s biggest challenges. However, there are ways that may help one in the healing process. Read on…



It hits you in the gut. That sense of hollowing and an inability to breathe. The empty seat at the table or the empty spaces on the calendar. The sensation of a rogue wave of sadness and loneliness slamming down out of nowhere. Grief is often described as being similar to a tidal wave. It painfully washes over you when you least expect it and can literally take your breath away.

Losing someone you love can change your world. You miss the person who has died and want them back. Often, the pain of loss can feel overwhelming. You may experience all kinds of difficult and unexpected emotions, from shock or anger to disbelief, guilt, and profound sadness.

You might have trouble concentrating or sleeping. In fact, grief can take many different forms, from feelings of numbness to unstoppable tears. These feelings are normal. There’s no right or wrong way to mourn. Similarly, there’s no deadline for grieving. Grief is a process of letting go and learning to accept and live with loss. The amount of time it takes to do this varies with each person. Usually, people experience a strong acute grief reaction when someone dies and at the same time, they begin the gradual process of adapting to the loss.

The grieving process:

Grieving is a highly individual experience; there’s no right or wrong way to grieve. How you grieve depends on many factors, including your personality and coping style, your life experience, your faith, and how significant the loss was to you.

Inevitably, the grieving process takes time. Healing happens gradually; it can’t be forced or hurried - and there is no ‘normal’ timetable for grieving. Some people start to feel better in weeks or months. For others, the grieving process is measured in years. Whatever your experiences may be, it’s important to be patient and allow the process to naturally unfold.

Coping with grief:

Coping with the loss of someone is one of life’s biggest challenges. Scientists have been studying how we process grief and are learning more about healthy ways to cope with loss. Here are some of the ways that may help one in the healing process. Read on…

Remember and celebrate the life of your loved one: Grieving a loved one is a painful and bittersweet experience since part of that grief process is recalling memories of the person you have lost. An important part of healing is remembering and talking about your loved one.

Acknowledge your feelings: When it comes to grief, avoidance does not work. Avoiding grief may seem like the best alternative, but the pain awaits you, and eventually, it needs to be faced and experienced. As you are grieving, you may experience sadness, guilt, anger and remorse. This range of emotions is a normal part of grieving. Acknowledging it and expressing it is a healthy way to navigate the grief process.

Take care of yourself: Taking care of yourself may mean saying no to extra responsibilities or obligations for a while. Grief can be exhausting and may mean that you need to protect your energy until you start to feel better. Carve out time for naps, eat nourishing foods, and drink plenty of water. Attending to your self-care during times of grief is a necessary focus to move toward healing. It isn’t selfish, self-absorbed or greedy. Self-care is a way of honouring your own health and wellness as you recover from a major loss. Self-care is self-compassion.

Get moving: Using exercise to cope with grief is a healthy strategy for healing. Not only does exercise improve cardiovascular health, but it also releases endorphins in the brain that create feelings of well-being. Exercise helps depression in many ways, and grief is no exception. Whether you take up biking, jogging, yoga or simply walking with a friend, there is no wrong way to do it. Incorporating exercise into your daily routine can significantly benefit your depression and grief experience.

Understand that grief is unpredictable: The unpredictability of the grieving process is normal. You may find that you are crying at unexpected times. Strong feelings can emerge, seemingly from nowhere, and can hijack any given moment during periods of grief. Remember, no one should expect you to be ‘over’ it, or to ‘snap out’ of grief. There is no specific time frame for grief, and it is individual and unique to the person experiencing it.

Be patient with yourself: As you experience the range of emotions that come with grief, be patient with yourself. You may have times in which you wonder if you will ever feel fine again. Sit with those moments and trust yourself to heal. It will happen, and it takes time. Be gentle with yourself. There is no shortcut around it. It is a natural process we experience when we care deeply for someone who has died.

Accept your new reality: One of the final stages of grief is acceptance. Early on in the grieving process, it may feel impossible that you could ever make it to a place of acceptance of this new reality without your loved one. Accepting grief and loss is a hard-earned accomplishment in the grieving process. There are stages of grief, and it is normal to go through these varying stages at different times during your healing process and even return to prior phases just when you think you’ve finished with them.

Moving on: Grief can be a gift, and it can open your eyes to the important aspects of life and bring you back to your core values through this intense pain and loss. As you accept your new reality, grief can manifest in different ways that feel more like a blessing than you could have imagined. Be patient with your growth, your emotions and your healing process. Some say time heals all, but it’s more than time. It is what you do with that time that really matters - how you invest in your well-being and how you invest in your life after loss. It is not a betrayal to get well and recover from grief; it is a natural, healthy part of the process.

- Compiled