So you have experienced the tragic loss of a loved one! May we extend our deepest sympathies to you in your time of sorrow. We offer below some effective techniques for How To Deal With Grief.
First, though, it is most important that you understand that you cannot "handle" or "manage" grief. It is not healthy or effective to try to manipulate grief or find a shortcut through it. There are, however, more comfortable ways to help you endure as the grief process unfolds.
1. Go With The Flow- In the early stages of your bereavement, do not try to hide it, suppress it or deny it. The best thing you can do is to let it in... let the grief wash over you at will and carry you along for now. Surrender to the grief to find your way through it. It is only later that you will find ways to put your grief aside in order to deal with the business of living... your job... your social life... your financial and legal affairs.
2. Postpone Decisions- Most mental health professionals agree that you should try to put off major decisions for one year following a grievous loss. In other words, do not move, sell or buy real estate, marry or divorce, adopt or get pregnant if you can possibly avoid it... for one full year. Why? You just aren't in your right mind early in grief, and may make bad decisions you will sorely regret later. And about moving... don't... as one widow in a support group said... "It's best to grieve where things are familiar".
How to deal with grief...
3. Don't Grieve Alone- The funeral is over, out-of-town guests have gone home, and your friends seem to be getting back to their lives. You may be dismayed at this time to discover that you have been left alone to deal with your grief! Why does this happen? Where is everybody when you need them most? The truth is that most people, even friends and family, are not comfortable with grief. They don't know what to say or how to help... so they just stay away.
It is not healthy to grieve alone. So make the effort to find at least one friend or professional who does "get it". You need a supportive "ear" who will stand by you and let you express your grief without telling you it's "time to move on". You may even find it helpful at this point in your grief to join a grief support group in your area. This is a special kind of therapy that many have reported to be very helpful.
4. Be Gentle With Yourself- The best advice we can give you on how to deal with grief is this: be kind and gentle with yourself! Grief takes time and lots of hard work. Sadly, the only way through grief is directly. There are no shortcuts or easy ways to "handle" a healthy bereavement. So you must be patient and forgiving... of yourself.
We have given you a few griefwork tips here, but there are many other proven methods for making grief more bearable and comfortable. Access more of these grief coping strategies from the resource box below.
Jennie Wright is an RN and Certified Grief Counselor. She has helped many bereaved families learn to cope with the loss of a loved one, and is the author of a short report, "Grief Skills" You will find this excellent report here: http://www.recover-from-grief.com/handling-grief.html
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