When someone you love passes away, it can be difficult to accept the fact that they are no longer with you. Whether you believe in an afterlife or not, death can be an impossible concept to wrap your head around.
As we try to cope with the death of a friend, family member or lover, there are generally five stages of grief that we pass through. These stages have been shortened into the acronym, DABDA, which stands for Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and finally, Acceptance.
While these stages serve as a guideline to understanding the grieving process, emotions cannot be tucked away into neat little packages. Every person’s response to death and the emotions they feel will be as individual as the person experiencing them.
Not everyone will experience these stages in the same order, and some people may even skip some of these stages altogether. Similarly, there is no set time in which one should complete the grieving process, and while one person may feel ready to move on after a year, it could take another person ten years or more to truly carry on living.
The misconception that the grieving process should follow a certain pattern or time-frame results in confusion for many people who worry that they are doing something wrong if they aren’t following the set grieving formula.
If you catch yourself with thoughts like “Surely I should be over this by now” or “Why haven’t I reached stage B yet?” it is important to remind yourself that grief is a deeply personal thing, and there is no “right” way to work through it.
No one can tell you how to cope with grief and ultimately accept your new reality; but there are ways to facilitate the grieving process. Hopefully the following tips can be helpful to you as you work through your emotions.
How To Accept Death Of A Loved One
Allow yourself to feel your pain
When struggling to come to terms with the loss of a loved one, it is important that you give yourself permission to feel whatever feelings you may have at the time.
Whether you are feeling angry, guilty, depressed or devastated, you should acknowledge those feelings rather than trying to push them away.
Many people think that by blocking out the memories and resisting their emotions, they can keep the pain away, but this only causes it to build up and prevents you from truly moving on.
Write about it
It can be hard to express your inner feelings out loud or even in your head. Writing down some of your thoughts, memories or experiences can help you to understand them better yourself. Putting your emotions down on paper can be another way of releasing them.
Remember that you are not the only one who lost your loved one; that person’s family, friends and coworkers are probably also working through their own feelings of loss. Coming together with them to talk, share stories and remember the good times can be immensely comforting.
Don’t rush yourself, though. If you don’t feel ready to talk about what happened or reminisce yet, then that’s fine too. Go at your own pace and give yourself time to heal.
Set up a memorial
It is often said that when someone you are close to passes away, you don’t just miss them; you also miss who you were when they were around. Or in other words, you miss how they made you feel and the traits they brought out in you.
If this rings true for you, you may find it helpful to create a memorial in honor of that person. This could be anything from a memorial park to a foundation for disadvantaged children or homeless pets.
Many people have found that honoring their loved one’s existence helps them to live on in a meaningful way and keeps the memories of that person alive in people’s minds.
About the Author:
Joyce Del Rosario is part of the team behind Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading providers of health and fitness courses and Online Natural Therapy Courses. When not working, Joyce blogs about health and fitness.If you have a blog and would like free content.