Losing a loved one can be a traumatic experience for everyone involved. In my book, “The Portal,” Colleen Armstrong lost her sister, Jeanette, one night after she had difficulty delivering her son. Geoff Banks, Jeanette’s husband, left his newborn son in Colleen’s care as he left Driftwood for eight years, promising to return after he processed his grief.
When left uncared for, grief can take a toll on your health and sometimes your life. Here are some tips on how you can process such an event:
* Allow Yourself to Process Your Thoughts and Emotions. The initial reaction after hearing the news can vary among individuals. From sadness to disbelief and even anger, the best thing to do is to allow yourself to feel these emotions as honestly as possible. Just ensure not to harm anyone in your wake if you think you cannot process your feelings.
* Seek Emotional Support. Once the emotional reactions have died down, consider seeking emotional support from family, friends, and professional help. Whatever the case, airing out your grievances can be a great way to come to terms with your loved one’s death.
* Prepare for Painful Reminders. Grief comes in waves of pain, enduring love, and the memories you have with them when they were around. Instead of running away from reminders of their existence, remind yourself that traces of their presence still live within you. It will be hard at first, but eventually, things will improve for the better.
Celebrate Your Loved One’s Life. Both death and life are inevitable. While we can no longer bring our loved ones back, we can still honor and celebrate the life they had led by keeping their memories alive for their friends and family members. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t move on. Instead, we should still carry their memory with us as we move forward.
The process of grief can be a highly emotional journey. However, keep in mind that help is always readily available. If you find yourself experiencing possible symptoms of depression, contact your nearest mental health care provider.
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