Finding Peace After the Loss of a Loved One
“We bereaved are not alone. We belong to the largest company in all the world—the company of those who have known suffering.”
- Helen Keller
The pain of losing a loved one is universal to us all. It’s never easy and it’s something we’re never fully prepared for, even if the deceased was ill for many years. The impact grief has on our heart, mind, and body can’t be prevented and there is no one-size-fits-all way to mourn the passing of a loved one. But there are helpful strategies that can ease your feelings of sadness, pain, depression, guilt, and regret, so you can eventually find peace and move to a place of love.
Give permission to your feelings. There’s no right or wrong way to feel after losing someone. You could be feeling many things at once– sadness, loneliness, confusion–or you may be numb and still in a state of shock. Let yourself feel your emotions. Accept that this is part of the process and it’s okay to be sad, hurt, or even angry.
Talk to someone. it's important to have an accessible support group for those times when you feel especially sad, isolated, or helpless. These individuals can be a tremendous source of emotional and physical support during your darkest hours. Talking to a professional or trained minister can also help you feel more validated, more connected, and overall more peaceful.
Embrace your personal coping style. Everyone has his or her own way of coping with grief; you might heal better by staying busy and moving on with daily activities, while others may find solace in reflecting on their oved one’s life. No one style is better than the other. It’s all about what feels right for each individual in this time of suffering.
Take your time. Above all, keep in mind that there’s no timeline for your grief. Don’t rush the process. As time passes, you may find that you have moved on with your life in some ways but still cry daily. It’s important to remember that grief won’t always be center stage in your life, but the memory of your loved one will always be with you.
Cherish the memories. It takes a while to adjust to the loss of a mainstay in your life, but in time, you will be able to move forward and embrace the memories. When you’re ready, do things that brought your loved one pleasure and happiness in life, such as going to the beach or dining at their favorite restaurant. Keep a special place in your heart so that you can always remember the happy times and the love you shared.