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How to Help Yourself Through the Grieving Process

Learn about different ways to work through your tragic loss

the Grieving Process

Losing someone you love is a highly emotional and difficult time. Grieving is a process that can be long and take a physical and emotional toll on you and your family. This article offers helpful tips for you to work through the process of getting over the death of a loved one.

Go Slow

Allow yourself extra time to do everyday tasks. If you feel like you have little energy and virtually any task is a chore, this is because the act of grieving takes a lot of energy. Don't feel bad if it takes you twice or even three times as long to do simple tasks that used to take you mere minutes.

Take time for naps or to rest if you feel weary or tired. Go to bed earlier if you want, and don't force yourself to push forward if you feel you need to lay down or sit down for awhile.

Try to keep major decision making to a minimum, and avoid any new responsibilities if possible during your grieving process. While there will be decisions you will need to make if you have to deal with the estate of your loved one, seek out help with decisions.

Be prepared for the letdown you will feel when your wake, shiva, or post-funeral gatherings end. As the days pass and fewer people stop by to pay their respects and help you out, be prepared for your first true feeling of loss. Often, your loss feels surreal when you are surrounded by all of your family and friends immediately after the funeral for your loved one. Prepare yourself for the time when you are alone and life begins to move on for those around you. It is during this time that you need to do a gut check and be sure you are getting the help you still need.

Above all, be gentle on yourself. Don't hold yourself to the same standard of energy, enthusiasm, or even memory that you were accustomed to before your loss. It is common to become more forgetful, frustrated and overwhelmed while your focus is still on the sadness you feel over your loss.

Ask For Help

Your family and friends may want to help, but they may not know what to do or say. If someone offers help with something, let them. It's possibly the only way they know of to try to do their part for you.

Remember it's not your job to help everyone else. If you feel the need to talk about how you're feeling about the death of your loved one, then talk about it. Don't feel like you're being a downer or depressing. It is normal to want to release your feelings and you should be comfortable doing so.

Don't be afraid of tears or laughter. Crying doesn't make you weak. Laughter is not a sign of disrespect or that you have forgotten your loved one. These are normal emotions and are part of the grieving process. Give yourself permission to laugh if something is funny, and cry if you want to.

Remember, the loss of your loved one evokes more than the pain of losing them. It will also cause you to revisit some of the special and even humorous times you shared. In a way, laughing or smiling as you recall those memories is a tribute to the joy your loved one brought to your life.

Allow yourself to feel pride knowing of the joy that you brought to your loved one. This can prove to be powerful consolation as you recall their life and mourn their passing.

Take Care of Yourself

Try to exercise a little bit each day. Nothing strenuous unless you feel like it, but a short walk will serve you well.

Take time to do things you enjoy. Don't feel guilty for moving on with your life and enjoying some of the things you did before your loved one passed. This is what your loved one would wish for you.

Remain flexible in your life and everyday tasks. What once was normal probably won't feel that way for awhile, so allow yourself the ability to change your mind or daily routine. There will be days when you feel great and other days when you won't. This is all normal and part of the grieving process.

Conclusion

Grieving is a process. It's different for everyone, and there is no set time limit as to when you will be through your grief. Start the grieving process with baby steps. Then, when you're ready, you can reach the stride and pace that is comfortable for you. Don't forget to take care of yourself. This will help you move forward with your life.

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