How to cope with the loss of a loved one

Loss is never easy, and the loss of a family member can be even more difficult. Grief can overshadow every aspect of your life, and at times it can feel all consuming. It’s easy to get lost in it, but there are healthier ways to cope.

The first thing you need to realize and understand is that grief affects people differently. This has been said time and time again, but it’s very true. Just because you are moving through your loss in a certain way doesn’t mean someone else is going to move through grief at the same pace. Some people aren’t immediately sad when they lose someone close to themthey might not even cry. If this is you and it makes you feel bad. then just realize that it’s normal and does not, in any way, take away from your loss.

Next, express your feelings. This is a big one, and it can definitely be hard. Some people aren’t naturally emotional or expressive, and that’s okay! It does help to talk to another person (a family member, friend, counselor, or otherwise), but expressing yourself doesn’t mean you have to speak to another person. You can express yourself through music, writing, acting, making videos, drawing, photography...there are a million ways you can do it. The key is to just do it.

Bottling up emotions can lead you down a very unhealthy road. Know that those emotions will come out one day, and you don’t want them coming out all at once in an explosive manner. It will be healthier for you to deal with them as they come. This doesn’t mean you should do things that make you uncomfortable. Take your time in coming to grips with your loss, if that’s what you need. Once you get to the point where you feel the need to express yourself, don’t ignore it. Loss is easier to deal with when it’s shared. So whether that means you’re talking to a counselor or writing a journal, know that you aren’t alone.

Take care of yourself. Maybe you don’t feel like eating, or you’re not sleeping. Maybe you’ve lost interest in your favorite hobbies and feel like you don’t have the energy to do anything. Loss takes a toll on the body, which can often reflect on the outside so remember that your body still needs love.

Realize that going about your daily life, or having days where you don’t think about the person, doesn’t negate your loss. It doesn’t make you a bad person, and it doesn’t mean you love the person any less. They would want you to be happy, and you owe it to yourself to realize that. Sometimes people get caught in this stage because they are scared that moving on is doing that person a disservice. It’s not true. Though they may be gone, realize that you are not. You are here, you are alive and you deserve to be happy.

Grief is one of the hardest things to deal with as you grow up. It’s hard to deal with loss at any point in your life, but when you’re young it can hit you especially hard. When that loss is a family member, someone who is *supposed* to be around always, it can leave you paralyzed. Just take a moment to breathe, and do the best you can.

Have you ever lost someone close to you? Share how you dealt with it in the comments. 

by Kaila L. | 2/26/2017
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