You might feel affected every day for about a year to 18 months after a major loss. But after this time the grief is less likely to be at the forefront of your mind. Talking is often a good way to soothe painful emotions. Talking to a friend, family member, health professional or counsellor can begin the healing process.
Emotional strain can make you very tired. If you're having trouble sleeping , see your GP. A healthy, well-balanced diet will help you cope. Avoid things that "numb" the pain, such as alcohol.
It will make you feel worse once the numbness wears off. Go to counselling if it feels right for you. Counselling may be more useful after a couple of weeks or months. Only you will know when you're ready. When you have children, you may not want to show your feelings. Sometimes this is a good thing. I thus closed myself off from everyone I knew. I didn't talk about it.
I internalized all of that pain to wake up, put a plastic smile on my face and go on about my life, going through the motions and never truly processing the event. Opening up about my feelings allowed me to start the healing process. It took me over a year and a half, but it was on my own time, and when I was ready to open up, I did.
I completely threw up everything I had been feeling while my father was sick with cancer on a blog post while on a bus from New York to Virginia Beach to go visit him. After he passed, I left everything to travel the world for and with my father. I took a lifesize cutout of him with me all across Europe and accidentally told his story to the world through a photography project. Whether it's to a parent, best friend, sibling, professional therapist, counselor or complete stranger, opening up about death does not mean you are weak -- it means you're strong enough to be honest with the world, but most importantly yourself.
Be strong for your family. So you know what I did? I pretended like everything was okay because I didn't want to appear weak and vulnerable to my mom or brother. I couldn't make them worry about me. I couldn't cause them more pain or anxiety by letting them know I was in the midst of an extended marathon of an emotional breakdown. I kept everything inside and never showed them how f-cked up I was, consequently building an emotional dungeon around me. I didn't even give them a chance to be there for me, and that only started a chain reaction. Supporting your loved ones is about give and take.
When you let yourself be vulnerable, you invite others to be vulnerable around you.
One day when you're feeling like complete sh-t, they'll be there for you. Then when they have a day when they feel like complete sh-t, they'll come to you and you'll be there for them. Close yourself off and you'll always feel alone, and that's not how it should be.
I had always been the person to feel uncomfortable asking for things from my friends. If I needed something, I was hesitant to ask anyone. Even though all I wanted was for someone to listen while I vented about my frustrations and pain, I never picked up the phone and called my friends. I didn't answer when they called. I went into my closet, closed the door, turned off the lights, and cried until I passed out from a migraine. This happened every single day for eight months. One day, my good friend Sherri sent me a text message right in the middle of my fit.
I responded back to her for the first time in weeks and aired out everything I had felt at the exact moment. It was the first time I had allowed my friend to be there for me, even if it were only sending text messages back and forth. Since then, I've slowly reconnected with my friends, and whenever I'm having an issue I allow my friends to be there for me by opening up to them. It's a wonderful feeling to know that you've got people in your life that will have your back -- no matter what it is that you're going through, but you'll never know that unless you let them in.
When my father passed and my family struggled, I was more lost than I had ever been in my entire life. No one could answer my questions, I thought I would never get closure, and I lost all hope in my future. A year and a half later, I was still asking myself the same questions over and over again: Why did I still feel so much pain?
When am I going to get over this?
Why can't I just get back to "normal? Profound emotional reactions may occur. These reactions include anxiety attacks, chronic fatigue, depression and thoughts of suicide. An obsession with the deceased is also a common reaction to death. The death of a loved one is always difficult. Your reactions are influenced by the circumstances of a death, particularly when it is sudden or accidental.
Your reactions are also influenced by your relationship with the person who died. Parents may feel responsible for the child's death, no matter how irrational that may seem. Parents may also feel that they have lost a vital part of their own identity. In addition to the severe emotional shock, the death may cause a potential financial crisis if the spouse was the family's main income source.
The death may necessitate major social adjustments requiring the surviving spouse to parent alone, adjust to single life and maybe even return to work. At this time, feelings of loneliness may be compounded by the death of close friends. They may leave the survivors with a tremendous burden of guilt, anger and shame. Survivors may even feel responsible for the death. Seeking counseling during the first weeks after the suicide is particularly beneficial and advisable.
Coping with death is vital to your mental health. It is only natural to experience grief when a loved one dies. The best thing you can do is allow yourself to grieve. There are many ways to cope effectively with your pain. Seek out caring people. Find relatives and friends who can understand your feelings of loss. Join support groups with others who are experiencing similar losses.
Tell others how you are feeling; it will help you to work through the grieving process. Take care of your health. Maintain regular contact with your family physician and be sure to eat well and get plenty of rest. Be aware of the danger of developing a dependence on medication or alcohol to deal with your grief. Accept that life is for the living. It takes effort to begin to live again in the present and not dwell on the past.
Postpone major life changes. Try to hold off on making any major changes, such as moving, remarrying, changing jobs or having another child. You should give yourself time to adjust to your loss. It can take months or even years to absorb a major loss and accept your changed life.
Seek outside help when necessary. If your grief seems like it is too much to bear, seek professional assistance to help work through your grief. It's a sign of strength, not weakness, to seek help.