How to cope with grief and loss blog
Grieving is an individual experience, and there is no set way in which a person grieves. How you react to loss can be dependent on many factors such as life experience, how close the loss was to you, personality, faith, coping style and more attributes. As you likely know from past experience, grief often takes a toll on your physical health as well as your mental health, which is why it's important to use healthy outlets to cope with your loss. That's why we've put together this guide helping you cope with grief and loss, highlighting the signs of grief to look out for, and ways to alleviate grief in the future.
How long does grief last?
When you've lost a loved one, it often feels as if the grief will never end. There is no time frame in which grief 'lasts' - everybody is different, and loss will impact each individual differently. For a lot of people, it can take time for you to feel like your usual self again - and people often describe grief as being a constant presence, that simply diminishes over time.
However, grief is unpredictable - you may have days where you feel like yourself again, but then your emotions may be triggered by a life event, such as an anniversary, birthday or any other event. What is most important is that you give yourself time to fully process your emotions, no matter if it takes months or years.
Signs of grief:
Despite popular belief, there is no set way to grieve - you may feel inexplicable emotions at random times. However, here are perhaps the most common feelings bereaved people feel:
- Disbelief: after the initial shock of losing a loved one, it may be hard to even accept what is happened. You may feel disbelief, or keep expecting a person to show up even though you know they are gone.
- Profound sadness: perhaps the most common symptom of grief is a seemingly insufferable sadness and feelings of despair, making it feel like you can't face the everyday. Your normal tasks may seem like impossible tasks, and even the simplest things, like getting dressed every day, could become difficult.
- Guilt: if a person dies unexpectedly, you may feel guilt for things that you didn't get to say or do with them. If it is an expected illness, you may feel guilt for feeling relief that they passed on.
- Fear: a big loss may have you feeling anxious about your morality, or those around you - you could have panic attacks about the instability of the future.
There are also many physical symptoms of grief. The added stress on your body may induce nausea, inability to sleep, lack of appetite or overeating. All these reactions are natural - and it-s important to know that everybody grieves in their own way, and there is help out there for you if you're struggling.
How to cope with grief
- Speak to family and friends: do not feel pressured to put on a brave face - now is an important time to turn to loved ones and seek support, as you may be able to comfort each other. Talk about fond memories together, as this can often really help with the mourning process.
- Join a support group: if you don't feel comfortable confiding in close family and friends, then a good alternative is joining a support group. By speaking to people who have experienced loss, this can also help you to get in touch with your own emotions.
- Express how you feel in different ways: it may not be so easy to talk about your feelings during this difficult time - however, there are various other ways to channel your emotions. For example, writing a journal, making a scrapbook, or volunteering at a charity can all help with overwhelming feelings.
How to alleviate grief for your loved ones
Helping others grieve can have just as a significant emotional impact as your own grieving experience. Sometimes it's hard to know the right things to say or do, you may feel like you need to give your loved one more space to grieve their loss, or perhaps you question whether you are providing enough support at all. Although grief is an inevitable part of life and death, there are some ways you can manage the grief your loved ones will experience when you're gone.
Here at Open Prepaid funerals, we work to alleviate the emotional and financial stress of funeral preparation. Our funeral plans are a way to rest assured that your loved ones won't be affected by rising funeral costs and inflation. A prepaid plan is also a good way to ensure that your wishes are carried out at your service, and alleviate both financial and emotional burden from your friends and family who would need to plan your funeral after you're gone.
If you would like to find out more about prepaid funeral plans, or for any other funeral-related questions, then do not hesitate to get in touch. Our team of specialist funeral directors are always on hand to speak to you. For any additional grief support, please contact Cruse for expert support and advice.
- Posted 12th November 2021