Healing from grief can be long-term and it does happen over time.
Missing someone that has been close to you leaves a hole in your heart that we feel will never heal over, however, it does. It is important to take the time to let it heal.
Memories will pop up through songs, through events in your life, through situations once shared, or someone saying something. Dealing with each as it comes along does give you strength to be ready for the next time and so the healing starts to begin – making life far easier to cope with once again.
Allowing yourself to grieve is an important step
Remembering the person is also helpful so long as you do not allow yourself to dwell on “what ifs” and “perhaps ifs”.
Try writing down your feelings and then read them back to yourself in front of a mirror. Talk to the person in the mirror. Listen to music once shared and feel the song.
Spending time alone may also help especially in the early stages so as you can get to cope with the new-found emotions that come with the grieving.
Reaching out for support is also important
When someone offers help, don’t return their offer with a negative “No thank you, I can manage!”
Being on your own all the time does not help.
Spend time with others and laugh and joke about the person you all are grieving for – because their memories of a situation might just enlighten you to another aspect of your loved one.
Collecting photos or memorabilia might also help to keep one’s memory alive.
Create a journal, write a book about them, again I mention sharing stories with others and perhaps create rituals to be shared in future times.
Above all, look after your own health by eating and drinking correctly, not wallowing in tears with packets of junk food, or alcohol or even worse drugs to drown or completely obliterate sorrows.
Attending the gym or martial arts or some form of exercise – even just a longer walk than usual, all helps.
Anniversaries such as birthdays, holidays or just shared annual celebrations will come and go.
Mark these times by perhaps lighting a candle, meeting up with other members of the family, or perhaps just spending time playing your favourite music. Shed tears if you have to. And then gradually come to terms with these certain times and face them with a positive approach.
You will survive.
Other people suffer grief as well
You are not on your own.
Keep up communication with them by way of telephone, texting, visits, coffee times. They will suffer the same pangs of grief in their own times – be there for them just as they were there for you.
A touch by another goes a long way to healing the heart. Hugs, talking, crying together, being silent together, being alone with each other: all of this helps each of you.
Giving advice is not advisable
Just listen, perhaps repeating their name in appropriate places.
Having been through it yourself you can understand how they are feeling. Try to remember what you would have liked people to say and do when it was your turn and do it with your own interpretation.
Never be afraid of talking about the person who has suddenly gone from your lives. Just don’t be bossy about anything because that is not what is needed right now.
A hand on the shoulder or arm, a listening ear, an occasional “They loved you”, might prompt fresh tears but in the end will give them encouragement of the right kind.
Being practical in your help will be good as well
Offer a meal or better still, just turn up with something you have made especially for them.
Be an extra hand for watching children if littlies are involved. Go to the movies. Hang out together. Walk together. You will be amazed at how this all contributes to the healing of the heart.
Calling your friend on the special day of remembrance or offering to drive them to the cemetery to place flowers – all of these little things in life matter.
Allow them to know quietly that you have not forgotten.
All of this will also help you come to terms with your own grief and time will quietly slip by until eventually you will be able to face that song, face that meeting, face that anniversary, face that birthday date – and you will be stronger from allowing the time for you to be where you are now.
Medical help is available
If you need to discuss you loss and grief with one of our Doctors, please contact us on 5545 2909 to make an appointment. Our Doctors can lend a listening ear as well as refer you to other people that can help you and your loved ones through this time.