It is never easy to deal with the loss of a loved one, whether it is a close friend, a family member, or even a pet. There are many stages of grief that you will face immediately after their passing. You will experience pain, sadness, confusion, and possibly anger. All of these emotions are perfectly normal. However, it is important to understand that no matter how severe a loss, there is always hope on the horizon. With the right combination of hard work and mental fortitude, you can cope with the loss and pain.
- The first step is to accept and confront the loss. Many people who have recently experienced the death of a family member or friend may turn to substance abuse to cope with the pain. This is only a temporary fix and is not a healthy form of grieving. A person cannot truly conquer the pain until they confront it. This can be as simple as crying. It is okay to take a day, or even a week to let the emotions out. The important thing to remember is that grief should never be ignored.
- Do not be afraid to share your feelings with others. Sometimes, the best cure for grief is a shoulder to cry on. It is healthy and natural to seek out the comfort of others when grieving. You can talk to a priest, counselor, therapist, friend, family member, or anyone that you feel can offer their sympathy. One of the best parties to talk to is someone who is going through the same grief as you. You both know exactly how the other is feeling and can therefore overcome your sadness together.
- Unfortunately, not everyone will be sympathetic when you are grieving. Your job is to distance yourself from people who are not compassionate. They will tell you things like “get over it,” or “stop being so sensitive.” These people do not know how you feel and will thus give unnecessary, and sometimes hurtful advice. A good way to avoid non-compassionate people is to simply let them know that they are not being helpful and that you would prefer not to be around them.
- Get professional help if necessary. There is a harmful stigma in our society that shuns people who seek professional guidance for mental health issues such as grief, depression, anxiety, stress, etc. Seeing a therapist or a counselor is never a sign of a weakness and it does not make anyone pathetic. Instead, it should be considered a sign of strength, because the victim realizes that they need help and they are confronting their grief full-force.
For more details on how Safe Harbor can help you deal with your grief, visit www.safeharbor1.com. Interested individuals are welcome to join in our faith-based dialogue found on our Facebook page and we welcome you to follow us on Twitter.