The loss of a loved one is one of those things in life that is inevitable, but can never be prepared for. The pain shocks all of us, even if we have been through it before. Each of us is different, and each of us is going to deal with it in our own way. The important thing is that you deal with it.
There's no “easy way out" or “do this and you'll be fine", but here are some suggestions for getting through it.
1) Feel it- One thing that a lot of people do in times of crisis is shut off their emotions. This may seem optimal at the time, but in the long run it will only hurt you more. You are going to have to deal with the pain eventually. For some people, the pain will come later when they see or hear something in everyday life that reminds them of the person. Being in this fragile state where little things can trigger waves of emotion is not healthy.
If you're really good at bottling up emotion, dealing with a death can be a lifelong process. You may never have a huge outpouring of emotion, but it will eat away at you day by day while you pretend you are fine. It is much better for you, everyone around you and the deceased loved one if you allow yourself to mourn for however long it takes, and then continue living your life, never forgetting of course.
2) Reach out- Although grief is a private emotion, you don't have to go through this by yourself. There are two distinct groups of people you can reach out too, and the one that you choose will depend on your personality and situation.
The first group is your friends and family, possible people who knew the loved one. Chances are they want to help, but just don't know how. If you reach out to them for a shoulder to cry on and someone to talk to, they will probably be more than happy to oblige. If these people seem to close to home, there are always more anonymous people to talk to. These can be support groups, therapists, religious leaders and anyone else you can think of. This can be useful because they didn't know the person, so you can talk about them without feeling like a broken record.
Amidst this grief, it may be hard to think about yourself, but you need to. Try your best to get enough sleep at night and eat healthy, and remember that the pain won't last forever.
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