Coping Mechanisms for Facing a Loved One's Death
When we lose someone we love, one of the hardest challenges can be dealing with the emotions and feelings from that loss. To find comfort, people often choose to resort to addictions that they have used in the past, such as food, alcohol, or drugs. In reality, this just complicates the loss and masks the pain temporarily.
In an effort to avoid these pitfalls, I would like to provide a few alternatives in dealing with the loss of life:
1. Acknowledge the reality of the loss while making time for memories and lightheartedness. Recall the things they enjoyed doing and personality traits that bring a smile to your face.
A couple of activities for this would be working on a scrapbook in memory of them or putting together a video/slide presentation of their life.
2. It has been said that those who provide joy to others cannot keep it from themselves. Find a worthwhile cause that your loved one might have supported and invest your time and energy into that organization or cause.
3. Invest in yourself. Plan to do things that promote your well-being, whether they be physical, emotional, or spiritual. Don’t just sit at home and allow the grief to rule your life. Get your hair done. Buy a new tool that you would enjoy using. Go to the park with a good book and enjoy the sunshine. If you are feeling angry over the loss, go to a batting cage and hit a few balls. Visit the local recreation center and participate in physical activities for a release of the feelings.
4. Invest in new friendships. Attend a grief support group and connect with those who are also dealing with a loss. You never know what treasures await as you reach out to others who are also dealing with feelings of pain and loneliness. Remember that lumps of coal become diamonds under pressure.
5. Volunteer. When we invest in others, we often find ourselves and provide for our own nurturing through relationships.
Those are just a few suggestions—stepping stones on your road of grief and recovery. Remember, grief can make us bitter or better. We alone choose!
—Saundra Yates, Bereavement Coordinator/Chaplain (Mount Airy Office)
Mountain Valley Hospice & Palliative Care offers free grief support to the community at large. For more information, contact us today at 336-789-2922 (toll-free 1-888-789-2922).
Tags: Grief Support