Coping with the Loss of a Loved One

You can clearly remember the day your father taught you how to ride a bike. It was a beautiful sunny day and your brand new Schwinn was waiting for you on the sidewalk shining in the sunlight.
You remember your father’s hand guiding you gently up and down your street and you even recall the smile on your dad’s face as he let go of the bike and you rode it on your own. You were very happy and you felt a lot of love for your dad, only you didn’t know it then.

Those memories come to the surface as you begin to plan your father’s burial. Your dad was sick for a long time with cancer and you knew the end was near, but nothing could have prepared you for the time that he actually passed away.

You’re pretty smart so you expected a long period of mourning, but you failed to realize that your father’s death would cause a lot of stress. In fact, you may have been surprised at the level of stress you experienced over your father’s passing.

People don’t normally associate the loss of a loved one with stress, yet studies show that the death of a loved one is one of the most stressful events humans can experience in their lifetime. Dealing with grief properly is important. Whether it is the death of a husband or wife, a parent or sibling, or even a very close friend, death makes us feel stress about the loss and about our own mortality.

Doctors say the most important thing people can do in coping with death is to recognize that it is a part of life. You have to realize that it’s normal and natural for you to feel anxious and even worried during the grieving cycle.

One of the best things you can do to overcome stress is to give yourself all the time that’s necessary for you to grieve. Don’t try to rush through the process and try to understand that everyone grieves differently, so what may be normal to you may not be normal for someone else.

You can also do something positive to help yourself deal with death related stress. For example, you could plant a tree or make a contribution to a local charity in your loved one’s name.

Spend some time thinking about how your loved one would’ve wanted you to carry on after their death. Chances are he/she wouldn’t want to see you sulking in a corner or feeling sorry for yourself because over his/her death.

Write down all of the things you wanted to say, but never got the chance to mention. Gently and quietly apologize for all of the problems you caused and realize that your loved one most likely forgave you a long time ago.

An extremely effective stress-reducing technique is to write your thoughts down on a piece of paper. Write with a pen and paper instead of a computer because something magical happens when we commit pen to paper and it can be very therapeutic.

Finally, there are a lot of positive things you can do which will help you deal with the grief of losing a loved one. While losing someone you love is something that none of us ever get over completely, you can learn to cope with the loss and eventually smile again.

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