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How to Cope with a Death of a Loved One


Losing a loved one, whether friend or family, is a traumatic experience and rising above the sadness is a challenge. The grief in such situations can be intense. Even though we know that birth and death are a natural and unavoidable fact of life, coming to terms with a personal loss is never easy, especially if we lose someone to an untimely demise through disease or accidents.

A person’s mechanism for coping with such loss is a highly individual thing. For most, grieving is an important part of the process. With time, the intensity of grief diminishes but the twinge of loss remains.

People recover from such loss on their own. Families offer support to one another. A healthy mind can cope with the death of a near and dear one. There is no fixed time frame for coming to terms with the loss. It varies with the type of relationship and depth of feeling one may have had for the deceased.

There are no fixed stages that you will necessarily pass through as you rise above the grief, leave it behind and get on with life. Because we know the inevitability of death, for the vast majority, it is not very difficult to come to terms with it. However, for some a loss can lead to complicated grief. Such people seek answers for the loss or are racked by survivor’s guilt. Their mental state prevents them from executing daily activities. Their work suffers.

Such individuals should seek the services of a mental health professional who specializes in helping people struggling with grief.

Consider the following steps, these serve to offer an explanation for the circumstances and help to renew ones interest in life.

  1. Talk about the loss – Talking acts as a release valve. It also helps people share their experiences with you and allows them to share their coping mechanisms that you can adopt. Do not go into denial.
  2. Don’t fight your feelings – You achieve nothing by suppressing emotions that arise. Accept the anger, sadness, and frustration. Be gentle on yourself so that you may be gentle on others.
  3. You are responsible for yourself – In accepting your hurt and giving your feelings a release, do not forget that you are responsible for your physical and emotional wellbeing and also for your family.
  4. Help others – In helping others cope with the loss, you will find solace and it will ease your grief.
  5. Remember the positives of the deceased person – Remember the deceased person’s positive attributes. Reminisce about the good times you had with the person. Celebrate the individual’s life. Support the causes that were dear to the person.
  6. Talk to a psychologist. They are trained to assist people in coming to terms with the loss. They can help in tiding over the feelings of guilt and anxiety. They provide humane and logical answers to questions that rack a grieving mind.



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