Dealing with grief

The death of a loved one is a scenario we all fear, and rightly so. It is one of the most upsetting experiences a person will ever go through. During the early days after it happens, it feels like you won’t survive. So, if it happens to you, what you can expect and how do you cope?

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What to expect soon after the death of a loved one

Feelings of shock and numbness are normal. You cannot immediately understand the reality of what happened, let alone the implications for your life. This is actually a useful feeling – the numbness allows you to sort things out, so you can focus on important decisions and actions like finding a Funeral Directors Essex at a site like However, because your brain is still expecting the presence of that person, you may catch yourself expecting to see them or hear their voice.

The reality is gradually going to hit home, bringing waves of pain and grief. Friends and family members can often feel unhelpful, despite their best intentions, most people do not know what to say or do after the death of loved ones because they were never taught. Many do not want to say the wrong thing so they say nothing, skilfully avoiding you or talking about anything except what happened. Others try, but simply repeat the things you’ve heard over and over, so that their efforts are often pointless or even painful. Some will feel it is their duty to “fix” you, tell you what to feel and how to grieve or say that you have to “get over it.” This is very unfair, so you often find yourself educating others on how to support a wide range of emotions.

It’s normal to feel a spiral of emotions – you may feel angry, miserable, guilty, confused, vulnerable, afraid, desperate or hopeless. You will sometimes have multiple emotions at once or at times, move through them at a racing speed.The unexpected volatility can cause you to feel you are going crazy. You’re not. This is all normal for a grieving person.

Things to do after the death of a loved one

Let the emotions come without allowing others to judge you for it. Cry when you need to, without apologizing. Allow yourself to smile or laugh, too; which will help to support you. Find a way to name, express and gradually complete your experience. Writing in a journal, the use of music or hobbies and / or talking with people who “get it” can all be helpful.

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Try to stay active, get enough sleep and find time to get out into nature. Don’t be afraid to accept help, you can always return the favour when things have calmed down. Do things that comfort you and care for your fragile self. Be patient too, nobody expects you to get over it in a month, or even a year.

The pain will lessen in time and you will regain your footing, a sense of purpose and the capacity to find joy in life again. But do not set deadlines and follow your own path. Take any reasonable suggestions and ignore the rest. Even years later, you might find yourself ambushed by memories and emotions, after all, you loved a person who passed away. Allow yourself permission and time to mourn.


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