Coping With Life

Healing Grief and Bereavement : Finding Help After Loss of A Loved One

Healing Grief and Bereavement : Finding Help After Loss of A Loved One
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Grief and bereavement are horrible but natural parts of life.

It’s inevitable that someone you know and love will die someday, and grief is a normal part of recovering from such a loss.

Grief isn’t easy; it is painful, debilitating, and can leave you feeling empty and alone. The best thing you can do is find constructive, positive ways to deal with your grief before it cripples you or causes long-term harm to your mental and physical health.

Grief is a term used to describe any number of negative psychological states that occur after the death of a friend or family member. Depression, sorrow, apathy and lethargy are very common consequences of grief.

Recognizing your grief is the first step in coping with it and moving on. Ignoring grief is a dangerous and temporary fix, and can do major harm in the long run.

Grief is separated into five common “stages of grief”; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Developed in 1969 by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, the five stages of grief act as your guide to grief, cluing you in as to what emotions you should expect after the death of a loved one. They by no means apply to everyone — grief affects different people in different ways — but knowing what emotions are common amongst the bereaved will help you through your grieving process.

There are a number of ways to cope with grief in a healthy, positive way. Some people seek out spiritual guidance from pastor, rabbi, or other religious leader. Some people prefer the more structured support of a psychologist or support group.

Others might briefly seek out isolation as a time to reflect on the memory of their loved one. Whatever path you choose in dealing with your grief, remember; as long as you are not doing yourself or anyone else harm, there is no wrong method.

Pick what works best for you and surround yourself with people that support your grieving process.

One of the most popular forms of coping with grief is to find a support group or enter counseling.

Surrounding yourself with supportive people, especially ones that have been through or are currently going through the same thing you are going through will help lift your spirits when you’re feeling low and sustain them when you’re feeling good.

Support can come in many forms; religious congregations, family members, friends, discussion groups, or counseling. It can be as simple as having someone to take a walk with or a friendly chat with a coworker.

Whatever form your support system takes, make sure it is consistent and positive.

Another great way to cope with grief is to stay busy.

Find a creative outlet and let yourself get lost in it. Arts and crafts, home improvement projects, and keeping a journal are all great ways to keep your mind focused and yourself productive. You can even combine your creativity with the memory of your loved one by starting a memorial journal or scrapbook.

These are great ways to honor the deceased and deal with grief.

Make sure you exercise and maintain a healthy diet during your grieving process. Many people fall into unhealthy patterns that keep them from progressing past their grief and ultimately cause them long-term health problems.

Healing Grief and Bereavement : Finding Help After Loss of A Loved One

Grief is difficult, yes, but it is not impossible to deal with.

By surrounding yourself with a positive support system, making healthy lifestyle choices, and keeping busy, you will find that your grief will soon fade and you’ll be left with the wonderful memory of a life you are glad you were a part of.

Courtesy of Ben Nystrom,


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