Dealing with death can be extremely stressful and can place a strain on your health and your family relationships. Here are a few ways you can grieve in a healthy manner.
1. Don’t be Afraid to Grieve
Allow yourself to go through the entire grieving process. It can take time, but if you do not allow yourself the chance to grieve your loved one’s death, the loss will begin eating away at your happiness and peace. The Mayo Clinic says this about dealing with grief, “Grief is an inner sense of loss, sadness and emptiness. Mourning is how you express those feelings.” Give yourself whatever time you need to mourn your loss…don’t feel rushed. It is not a linear process with each day getting progressively better, but if you work to remain open to expressing your feelings—whatever they may be—you will find that over time things are improving.
2. Talk About Death
Your loved one’s death should not be something you go through alone. Consider joining a grief support group of people in a situation similar to yours, or at least be open to talking to close friends and family who are willing to lend an ear. Surround yourself with an excellent, tight-knit, positive support system that actively checks in on you to make sure you’re ok.
If you are not ready to talk, express your emotions in a journal instead. This is a more private way to communicate your feelings, but still allows you a safe, healthy outlet for your thoughts.
3. Keep a Memory Box
Use a small box to keep special mementos of your loved one, like notes, pictures, clippings, or anything else that reminds you of them. If the death is too new to reminisce, continue to save everything and tuck the box away for a time when you are ready to go through it.
4. Don’t Follow a Timeline
People will tell you that time will heal your pain. Time certainly will help, but it will not bring your loved one back. Don’t give yourself a deadline to finish grieving. Chances are, your grief will always remain to some extent. Instead, heal in your own time, at your own pace and do whatever you need to do to allow yourself to get through the process.
Remember, it’s ok to grieve. It’s ok to feel sad, angry, or frustrated. The important part is dealing with your grief, in a healthy way, constructive way. This means something different for everyone, so don’t feel like you have to follow a step by step plan that will magically make you feel better. Grieving is a process, and hopefully some of these ideas will help you through it.