Facing the loss of a loved one

There is nothing more difficult in life than coping with the loss of a loved one.

Looking ahead to a life spent without one who is close to your heart is a daunting prospect that can overwhelm those who are in grief.

As you work through the personal ordeal that follows the death of a loved one, you can expect to travel through several different stages of the grieving process.


During this early stage, it is common to react in a manner that may seem out of character. Individuals who have received news of the death of a loved one may experience numbness, disorientation, or confusion. The shock of the news may even leave a person unable to react at all.

Yearning & Searching

After shock dissipates, grief-stricken individuals are met with a rush of varied and sometimes conflicting emotions. Denial, guilt, anger, fear, and a feeling of helplessness are all common and natural occurrences when facing the loss of a loved one.

Disorganisation & Despair

As time passes and the void left by the passing of a loved one becomes more profoundly felt, those who are left behind begin bereavement. Those who are bereaved may find themselves to be listless, depressed, and unable to stop focusing on their loss.


In this stage, those who are grieving can come to terms with their loss and reorganise their lives to accommodate the absence of the departed.

Working Through Your Loss

It is important to remember that there is no typical response to losing a loved one. Every relationship, circumstance, and individual are different. Following are some general guidelines to help you cope with your loss:

Accept Your Feelings

There is no proper way to grieve. Accept that every feeling you have is both legitimate and part of a necessary process toward recovery. Do not let others define for you how you should feel or the length of time it should take for you to come to terms with your loss.

Express Yourself

You will be experiencing deeply felt emotions that may seem too personal or difficult to express. Unless emptied from your system, these emotions can have a toxic effect on your mental well- being. Don’t be afraid to express what you’re feeling to a trusted friend or family member. There are no “wrong” feelings.

If you find that you aren’t able to talk to another person about how you feel, it often helps to put your thoughts on paper. Even if you later destroy what you have written, the act of expression itself can be tremendously cathartic.

Stick to Routine

The death of a loved one creates a life upheaval that goes beyond emotion. Your career, finances, and personal obligations all still require your time and attention. Keeping all the different aspects of your life on track during this period can seem like an impossible task.

Maintaining your regular daily routines can help to keep you organised and can give you a greater sense of control over your affairs. This also serves to provide a sense of normalcy during an otherwise tumultuous time.

Take Care of Yourself

As you grieve your loss, tending to your own health is probably the furthest thing from your mind. However, your immune system is extremely vulnerable in times of great psychological trauma.

Get plenty of rest and force yourself to eat regular meals, even if you are not hungry. Stay away from mood- altering substances and be especially on guard against the temptation to self-medicate to suppress your emotional pain.

Give Your Loss Meaning

Finding personal or spiritual insight from the loss of a loved one usually is the last step of the healing process. Be open to new ways of viewing the world around you and actively seek greater meaning in all that you experience.

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