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5 Ways to Process Grief after Losing a Loved One

The death of a loved one will be one of the hardest things you go through in your entire life. When it happens, you may be busy handling all of the arrangements. You may not even feel the pain and the grief until the dust has settled. When this happens, it can be quite overwhelming. Everyone has advice on how to handle it, and the more advice you get the better. To help you heal, here are 5 ways to process grief after losing a loved one.

1. Process Your Feelings

The only way to get over something is to actually go through it. While it may be painful, that means you need to take the time to actually feel the different stages of grief. Grief does not come with very many positive emotions, so this can be quite painful. That’s why so many people avoid it. However, instead of bottling up your feelings and pretending they don’t exist, it’s best to allow yourself to feel them. Allow yourself to feel the anger, pain, loneliness, and guilt you may be feeling. As you feel your emotions, you’ll learn how to manage them.

2. Remember the Good Times

Despite the loneliness and pain, you may be feeling, you need to realize why you are experiencing these emotions. You are feeling these things because you miss the positive things that came out of your relationship with this person. Luckily, those positive moments are still in your memories. No one can take them away. Look back with fondness about the person you miss. You get to keep all of the best parts of them in your heart. Don’t be sad about the fact that they aren’t there to console you anymore. Simply think of what they would tell you if they were here to talk to you. And don’t feel bad about eating at restaurants you loved or taking vacations that you went on.

3. Help Others

One of the best ways to process grief is to help others who need you. Start with the tragedy at hand. You will be forced to find the strength to help others in your family who might also be struggling with the loss. You may even find that you strengthen a relationship this way. When the initial shock is gone but the grief is not, you can look to help others by joining a support group for people who have lost a loved one. You can also focus your energy on helping others who haven’t been so lucky in life. Dedicate yourself to different charities. When you focus your time on something worthy, you won’t have as much time to focus on the negative things going on in your life.

4. Do Something Meaningful with the Ashes

Many people aren’t entirely sure what to do with the ashes. Some people make it extremely clear what they would like done. Others don’t get the chance to express their wishes before they pass. In this case, you get to make the decision (with your best guess to their wishes in mind of course). Many people choose to spread the ashes at a place that meant a lot to the deceased. Other people are finding more creative ways. One item becoming more and more popular is a bullet necklace for ashes! You can carry your loved one with you when you need additional support for the day, or you can place the necklace on display somewhere special.

5. Go to Therapy

We all need help sometimes. It’s okay to admit when you need help. If you are struggling with your grief, go to a therapist. You’ll get the chance to talk to someone and express all of your thoughts and feelings without feeling like a burden. This trained professional will also have plenty of useful techniques to help you throughout this very painful process.

The cycle of life can be cruel. It’s even worse when someone is taken before their time. However, it’s part of life. That doesn’t mean you don’t have a right to grief and feel upset. If these suggestions don’t help, keep searching. May you find peace one day.

Tim Esterdahl

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