Coping with Grief
Grief is difficult, but it is a necessary process that must be worked through to cope with the death of a loved one. One of the best ways to start the grieving and healing process is to arrange and/or attend a personalized, meaningful funeral. Funerals confirm that death has occurred and allow survivors to gather and share their grief while supporting each other emotionally. Changing times within funeral serve also provide contemporary options for paying tribute to a life lived.
No matter how uncomfortable or how much you think you don’t need to, it is important to share tears and talk with others about grief. Grief professionals suggest expressing any anger, guilt or fears is critical to helping you through the stages of grief. This release helps you accept what has happened and work through your pain.
It is important for children to understand and accept the death as well. Families are often tempted to “protect” children by concealing a death, but should not because the child may hear it from somewhere else and feel worse than if their family had told them. To learn more on how to talk to children about death, visit the Explaining Death to a Child portion of the NFDA Website.
Suggestions for helping you cope with grief include lightening a heavy schedule while grieving; finding time alone to put things in perspective; and taking care of physical needs by eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercise. Physical activity can help offset depression and provide an outlet for emotional energy as well.
While there is no timetable for grief, if you are not coping well, you should consider asking a clergy person, doctor or funeral director to suggest a counselor. If nothing else, you may be relieved to discover that they are coping normally. Most funeral directors are also able to refer a self-help group for survivors.
Finally, remember in time, grief will diminish. While your loved one is no longer physically with you, they live on in your heart and in your memories.