Helping Yourself Heal

Feb 9, 2015 by

SOMEONE YOU LOVED HAS DIED. You are now faced with the difficult, but important, need to mourn. Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings regarding the death and the person who has died. It is an essential part of healing. You are beginning a journey that is often frightening, painful, overwhelming, and sometimes lonely.

• Your grief is unique. No one will grieve in exactly the same way. Don’t try to compare your experience with that of other people or to adopt assumptions about just how long your grief should last.

• Express your grief openly. By sharing your grief outside yourself, healing occurs. Ignoring your grief won’t make it go away, talking about it often makes you feel better. Allow yourself to speak from your heart, not just your head. You have a rights to express your grief; no one has the right to take it away.

• Experiencing loss affects your head, heart, and spirit. So you may experience a variety of emotions as part of your grief work. Confusion, disorganization, fear, guilt, relief or explosive emotions are just a few of the emotions you may feel. Allow yourself to learn from these feelings.

• Feeling dazed or numb when someone dies is often part of your early grief experiences. This numbness serves a valuable purpose: it gives your emotions time to catch up with what your mind has told you.

• Your feelings of loss and sadness will probably leave you fatigued. Your ability to think clearly and make decisions may be impaired. And your low-energy level may naturally slow you down. Nurture yourself, get daily rest, eat balanced meals. Caring for yourself doesn’t mean feeling sorry for yourself it means you are using survival skills.

• Reaching out to others and accepting support is often difficult, particularly when you hurt so much. Find those people who encourage you to be yourself and acknowledge your feelings — both happy and sad.

• If faith is part of your life, express it in ways that seem appropriate to you. If you are angry at God because of the death of someone you loved, realize this feeling as a normal part of your grief work. Find someone to talk with who won’t be critical of your feelings of hurt and abandonment.

• You may find yourself asking, Why did he die?, Why this way, Why now? This search for meaning is often another normal part of the healing process.

• Memories are one of the best legacies that exist after someone loved dies. Treasure them. Share them with your family and friends. Recognize that your memories may make you laugh or cry.

• You cannot heal unless you openly express your grief. Denying your grief will only make it become more confusing and overwhelming. Embrace your grief and heal. Reconciling your grief will not happen quickly. Remember, grief is a process, not an event, be patient and tolerant with yourself. Never forget that the death of someone loved changes your life forever. It’s not that you won’t be happy again. It’s simply that you will never be exactly the same as your were before the death.

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