Losing someone who was close to you can be devastating. Particularly, if it was a person who played a major part in your life. This could be a parent, friend, sibling, extended family member or anyone that you know. People are often surprised at the feelings they have when someone who they knew but weren’t close to passes away such as an old teacher. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you understand how to cope with a change like this in your life. If you don’t then it can have a huge impact on your mental health and your wellbeing.
First, you need to make sure that you are talking to friends and family members as much as you can. Human beings require social interactions to survive. These become particularly important once you end up in a crisis situation. This does include when you have suffered from a significant loss in your life.
Remember, the people who are around you and connected to you will be grieving from this loss too. So, it’s useful for everyone to band together and develop a complete support system that they can rely on. This is a great way to ensure that no one feels alone or trapped in their grief.
Next, you should ensure that you are taking steps to remember your loved one. A common mistake people make during the grieving process is trying to forget the person ever existed in the first place. They might also downplay the role that they had in their life. This is again, an understandable reaction. It might seem like it will be easier to cope if you do this. However, that’s not the case because eventually the true realization will kick in. So, instead, you should focus on remembering who they were and what they meant to you while moving forward. There are lots of ways that you can do this. For instance, you might decide to explore memorials. These are available from sites such as memorials.com. Or, you could add visiting their resting place to your weekly routine. This will give you a chance to talk to your loved one and ensure that you still feel connected to them. While this might feel silly at first, particularly if you don’t believe in an afterlife, it can be highly therapeutic and is often recommended by counselors.
It is not uncommon for people to need therapy after a significant loss in their life. As well as losing someone a loss like this is a reminder of our own mortality and that nothing in this life will last forever. This can be more difficult for some people to deal with than others and that’s why loss can often lead to dangerous or unhealthy behavior.
If you do feel that you are struggling, it’s important to make sure that you reach out and seek the right support. There are a variety of options that are worth exploring here. For instance, you could join a support group which is going to be less formal than one on one sessions.
It’s important to ensure that you are taking care of yourself as much as you can. Often, when we suffer from a loss, the first thing to go will be the care and attention we have for our own mental and physical health. For instance, you might stop eating a healthy diet. Instead, you could begin to binge food. Or, you could completely throw off your sleeping pattern and end up in a situation where you are sleeping the day away. You might even stay in all the time and avoid the outside world. People will often do this if they don’t want to engage with others who will try and pull them out of their depression.
This is all understandable behavior, but it’s important to try and maintain a healthy routine. You should force yourself to get up at the usual time instead of wallowing in bed. You do need to ensure that you are eating and drinking enough through the day too. This needs to include balanced meals. Don’t forget, your diet can have an impact on your mental health. So it could make issues like depression worse, even over a limited time.
Finally, you need to make sure that you understand the stages of grief. While it might sound somewhat of a cliche most people will pass through the various stages of grief at some point after losing someone they love. The stages include:
It’s worth noting that these are more abstract than they might first seem. For instance, denial doesn’t necessarily mean that you are in literal denial about them being gone. However, emotionally, you could remain in the same state you were before they passed away, at least on the surface.
Anger may in some cases lead to destructive behavior and if you’re not careful, this can have a long term impact on your life. Bargaining will often relate to religion. You may pray to a higher power to return the person you lost.
Similarly, there’s no time frame on how long it will take to pass through these different stages. Some people take longer than others to get to the end of this journey. This is something that you do need to keep in mind. You don’t have to push yourself to get over this loss as quickly as possible.
We hope this helps you understand some of the steps that you should take to ensure that a significant loss or tragedy in your life doesn’t cause a long term impact on your mental health. Losing someone who you love or who was close to you is always going to be painful and it’s often going to take a while to heal. But if you look after yourself and ensure that you take the right approach it doesn’t need to cause lasting damage to your wellbeing.
Thanks for reading xxx
Hi and welcome to The Willow Tree. I’m Michelle, also known as Shel and I am a mama to three beautiful crazy kids – I have two handsome boys and a wild and wonderful girl.
I really wanted a concrete place to share my love for travel, in particular Disney and offer my readers a chance to gain some knowledge around what we love to do as a family of 5.
I share our family adventures which include days out, travel advice and tips, holiday reviews, restaurant visits and of course, our love for Disney, including Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World.
Life is about creating memories, and here we are sharing them with you