I think we can all agree on this one statement: grief is a messy process. There are days when you feel like you can’t get out of bed to live in the real world due to the pain. There are other days when you are so angry that you can’t even say a civil word to your family members or friends. And there are days when you feel so happy and energetic that you don’t want to stay indoors. The constant up and down stages can leave us reeling and exhausted. Worse it can leave us feeling very out of control of our lives. The real question is how do we handle the roller coaster that is grief without losing our minds in the process? Below are some tips and tricks that you can include in your grief survival kit.
1. Tears are not your enemy, they are your friend. Many times we try to suppress our tears because we don’t like the thought of being weak or we are afraid of not stopping. Weeping during times of great loss is extremely important to processing and recognizing the loss that we have been through. It is not a weakness to feel hurt and sadness.
2. Take the process slowly, there’s not rush to recover. Depending on who/what we lost and how that loss took place, it could take years for us to recover. That is okay! There are going to be times when you may feel that you’ve jumped a few steps backwards in the grief process. Just remember that grief is exactly that; a process! We must be willing to take our time and allow our hurt to run its course.
3. Surround yourself with loved ones and friends. This process is not one that you can endure by yourself. Reaching out to friends and family is a necessity during this roller coaster process. They are the ones that can keep us grounded, and may even help us with looking at the loss from a different perspective. They are also the ones that will not allow us to retreat further into ourselves.
4. How do you want to use this loss? Do you want to be a better person at the end of the grieving process? Do you want to be a person that your deceased loved one can be proud of? These are all questions that it is important to answer. Loss does not mean that we stay stuck in the situation that we are currently in. Rather it can be used as a foundation to help us grow and change.
5. Try things that you may not have been able to do before the loss. Trying new things that we’ve always wanted to do, but have not been able to can help us discover new things about ourselves. This is especially important to do when we’ve lost something or someone. Taking the opportunity to try new things also helps us with moving forward onto new goals and new heights.