How to cope with the loss of a loved one

When someone we love dies, the overwhelming surge of sadness can make us feel that part of us has died too. Although it will feel like an uphill struggle, there are lots of ways to help ease the burden of grief.

Don't avoid the grieving process

Many people think that, by overfilling their diary, throwing themselves into work or numbing their pain with alcohol or drugs, they can bypass the grieving process.

Unfortunately, this isn't the case. Eventually, it will come back and hit you further down the line. You have to experience the grief of losing someone head on, in order to come out the other side.


There's no right or wrong way

Everyone deals with the loss of a loved one in different ways. There's no right or wrong way to grieve, so do what feels right for you.

There's also no magic date when your grief will be complete, although, of course, the pain will be easier to live with and manage in time.


Take small steps

The loss of a loved one can take its toll on both our physical and mental health. If there are times when you feel you can't cope, try to take small steps. Deal with life hour by hour, or minute by minute, if need be.


Seek support

Talking to someone who understands what you are going through can be hugely comforting, so seek out support groups in your area or join relevant online forums.

Speaking to a trained counsellor can also help those come to terms with their loss. If you are really struggling, visit your GP who may be able to assist you. 


Ask for help

Often when a loved one passes, we hear people tell us 'if there's anything I can do to help, just ask'.

While this may have a well-meaning intention, it's often hard for a person who is grieving to know what they need in the first place. However, try to think of things that other people could do for you to make life easier, and find the courage to reach out for this help.


Accept that life will change

One of the hardest things to cope with when a loved one dies is accepting that things will not be the same again.

Life will change, friends may disappear, but a new life will eventually take shape and new friends will be made. Try to accept that change will be inevitable, but that you can still enjoy life even whilst living with your loss.


Do things you enjoy

Grief can be all-consuming at first, but over time it tends to come in waves—you'll have good days and bad.

When a bad day strikes, try to remember that it will pass, but be kind and gentle on yourself in the meantime. Do something uplifting that makes you feel good about yourself; go for a walk, immerse yourself in nature or chat to a supportive friend, for instance.