Dealing with the death of a loved one is one of the toughest and most painful aspects of the human experience. Whether the death was recent or happened a long time ago, the pain of your loved one’s absence is a lasting battle that an individual must learn to coexist and cope with in order to deal with.
Grief normally occurs in five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Coping with death is a personal struggle for each person that occurs in his or her own way, so these steps do not necessarily have to play out in order for one to come to a place of peace. However, experiencing these emotions for long periods of time is perfectly normal.
Coming to terms with the feelings that occur after the death of a loved one is an important part of moving on. Every feeling that arises after a loved one dies is natural. For our own benefit, we ought not to be angry with ourselves if we do not manage to get over death in the amount of time that we wish we could. By inflicting judgment on ourselves, we only make the struggle harder and more drawn out. After someone dies, we are in a painful place and cannot choose how to feel or when to stop feeling the way we do.
Ignoring pain can make it worse. By bottling feelings up, we only allow them to build inside. It is not necessary for us to pretend to be strong if we do not feel strong. We need to permit ourselves to break down, accept what we’re feeling, cry as much as we need to, and express our thoughts and emotions to others. Lean on the shoulder of a family member or friend, talk to a therapist, or join a support group. Letting it out will help to achieve a place of peace a lot sooner, and sharing grief and exchanging comfort with others who are experiencing the same thing will speed up the healing process.
Many funeral services not only handle the funeral arrangements for lost loved ones; they treat the families who have experienced loss with aid to help with grief as well. Funeral services may be a good place to start the recovery process, by either offering options of their own or recommending a grief counselor who can provide services that they do not.
Replace depressed thoughts with the following thought: My lost loved one would not want me to fall into depression. He or she would want me to live my life to the fullest in spite of the fact that he or she is no longer with me. He or she is at peace, and I should be too. I have the power and strength to take care of myself and be happy again.
Accepting loss and moving on is an uphill battle. We all eventually stop feeling depressed, get our energy back and find joy again. We find strength in ourselves and from the support of others to come to terms with our losses. The memories of our deceased loved ones will never leave us. They stay with us forever, but when we come to terms with their absence, we can remember them fondly for the positive things they brought to our lives.