Bereavement and Loss: How to Cope With Grief

Loss is something we all deal with; it’s also something we all deal with differently. There is no guide to the right way to grieve, nor should there be any judgment on how someone is grieving. You can do a few things as you move through the grieving process, though, that may help you process the loss.

The first of these is to allow yourself to feel however you feel. Others will comment on how they feel or how they think you should feel, but you are the only one in control. Also, don’t be hard on yourself if you think you should “be over it” or if you think you should care more. Allow yourself space and grace.

It’s important to understand that while we all process loss differently, it also hits us at different times. You may have lost a beloved uncle but not live near where he lived. While the others who were used to seeing him every day grieved at their own pace, it may take longer as the loss washes over you when you visit.

The process of grieving can be both frustrating and confusing. Be patient with yourself and with those around you. There is no time limit on grief, but if you notice a loved one or even yourself stuck in the same spot or increasingly thinking about what you’ve lost, you might consider talking with a professional. Encouraging your loved one to talk with someone might go easier if you offer to tag along.

A second tip for coping with grief is to get back to your normal routine if possible. Trying to regain some order in your life will help. At first, it will seem like you’re going through the motions. That’s okay. It’s also okay if certain parts of your day are too hard. The fact that you’re trying is key.

Lastly, take care of yourself. It’s easy to get bogged down by ensuring your loved ones are taken care of, as well as all the details needed for arrangements. If you’re not taking the time for self-care, you will become exhausted more quickly and unable to start your own healing process.

Remember, there is no right or wrong way to grieve, and what causes grief for someone else might not have the same impact on you. Be respectful and supportive. With time, things will progress, and a new normal will emerge.