How To Deal With Loss and Grief
Coping with the loss of a loved one is never something that someone looks forward to. In fact, it is possibly the hardest thing in the world to experience.
Over the past couple of years I have unfortunately lost two close family members that I held so dear to my heart. No matter what tips and advice someone gives, the loss will always be there. So if you still feel like crying or releasing everything out then that is okay to do so. Never feel like you have to hide your feelings in order to be strong for someone else. In my personal opinion, you can be strong and still release at the same time. We’re humans, not robots. And it’s imperative for you to be able to be real with yourself and authentic with the people around you in order to move free from the weight of heaviness.
Step 1: R-E-L-E-A-S-E
The most important step to deal with grief and loss is to actually confront the situation. I know that many people hide their pain within their loss by trying to overlook it or pretending to themselves by lying to themselves and believing that everything is okay when you’ve lost a loved one. However, deep down you truly know that your heart is just waiting to burst out and cry inside.
The danger with holding your emotions in is that it’s not healthy for you mentally nor emotionally. We as human beings have been created to show emotions and hopefully have family and friends around you to support each other and comfort one another in times such as sorrow.
I’ve also noticed that many younger family members try to be strong for their older relative for the loss. But what I find is that the more open you are with each other, the closer the bond and relationship becomes. The more support each of you have within this loss. So don’t be ashamed to cry out and release, whether it’s in private or in the arms of someone you love. Let out all that’s been bottling up within you.
Step 2: Reach Out
Now that we’ve spoken about the importance of releasing and crying out. I would also advise you to reach out to your family and friends, or your church and other people you may know who are supportive. What you need in your life right now throughout this season of mourning, is to actually spend time with people that you cherish. Even though the pain of grief may take time to settle down, spending quality time with loved ones are actually healing to the soul. Whether its their encouragement, their presence or whatever you decide to do together. Reach out to your circle of friends. The last thing you need right now is to be alone all the time.
Being alone for long, extended periods of times can cause you to experience the feeling of loneliness much heavier than usual, since you’re already in a season where you’ve just experienced the loss of a loved one. Whilst you deal with the loss and grief, try your best to get out of your room, or off the couch and stay productive and fruitful by positioning yourself around loving people who will provide the care you need in this time.
Step 3: Clear Your Mind
I find that when we’re in times of loss and grief, it can be so easily for our minds to be cluttered which leads us to feel even more distressed. What helped me to cope with grief is by going for a walk. A simple walk within the fresh air can do much more healing that you can imagine!
Being indoors, or in the same position for a long time can be drowning sometimes. I believe we’re a lot more sensitive in seasons of grief so always be aware of not just your emotions, but your surroundings. My recommendation to you would be chose 15-30 minutes of your day and take a walk somewhere daily. Clear your mind and feel the fresh breeze. Sometimes, there’s nothing more refreshing and revitalising in nature than feeling the sunlight on your skin with fresh air upon you. This daily habit of walking will enable your state of mind to become much more tranquil and clearer.
Step 4: Understand Time
Understanding the beauty and art of time can be a massive help for your mental and emotional health. When you begin to understand that things get better with time, you will begin to put the pressure off yourself.
When you deal with loss and grief, something that gets to me sometimes is that some family members/friends cope with grief and timing differently to others. So if you see your family member coping differently to you, don’t worry about it. We are all wired to heal and restore differently. In fact. you can even reach out to them about how you’re feeling, I’m sure they will be open to put their arms around you and give you the support you need.
Never feel pressured to move on quickly and think that you need to be strong. There is strength found it being real, being open and being honest. Time can be one of the best healers of a broken heart.
Step 5: Pray
Within times of loss and grief, some people feel led to pray. This is a good thing, because God wants to comfort you in your time of mourning.
Matthew 5:4 – ”Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
When you feel like you have nobody to talk to, you can talk to the Lord Jesus. No matter what time of day, whether it’s 3am when everyone else is sleeping or on your lunch break at work. Be open to release out all your thoughts, cares and anxieties to Him. For He cares about every single area of your life. He has given you the free will to do whatever you please in life, however He still desires for you to come to Him. That He may fill you will His peace, His love and His fullness.
Matthew 11:28-30 – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
When you pray to God about how your’e feeling, you are literally taking up all the baggage and all the distress and laying it before Him. Leaving your time of prayer feeling much more peaceful and at rest within your heart. I did it every single day within my time of mourning, I still do it today. Because throughout the various trials and challenges of life I see that I need God with everything I face.
There is nothing you’re facing that God doesn’t care about. He cares about every part of your life. Reach out to Him, reach out to your family and your friends. You have people that love you and supportive of you in this time. More importantly, God is for you and not against you. He longs to restore your heart in this sensitive time.
Thank you so much for reading, I hope you were encouraged through this post. I know it’s the hardest thing in the world to experience.. losing a loved one that is so previous to you. Though remember, with time, family, friends and prayer.. things get better and much more peaceful.