Losing a loved one is something you can never truly prepare for, even if you have expected it. You'd be feeling a series of emotions that may affect your daily life and routines. Sometimes, the grief can devour you whole that professional help would be necessary. In any case, dealing with grief and loss is a challenging time for anybody, whatever the state of your mental health is.
Anticipatory grief, or the grief you feel before losing someone, is also something you'd experience when you have a loved one suffering from a terminal illness. The last requests and wishes they'd make are painful to hear, but you know you have to grant them all anyway. Some dying people even ask to be laid in the caskets of their wishes.
Looking for caskets is one of the most difficult parts of dealing with grief, but plenty of options are available in certain places. Customized caskets in Salt Lake City, for example, allow you to add your own personal touch to your loved one's last resting place. It may not take away your sadness, but knowing that you've granted one of their wishes can ease the pain a little.
That said, here's how to cope with grief and loss in a safe and healthy way:
Acknowledge the Pain
Grief has five stages, namely denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and peace. Allow yourself to go through these stages, no matter how long it may take. If you find yourself skipping some stages, don't worry because not everyone goes through each one of them. In fact, it's also normal not to go through any of them at all.
The point is, don't think about what you should be feeling, but rather, just acknowledge the pain as a whole. Each person feels emotions differently, so don't be guilty of not experiencing these five stages.
Bottling in your emotions can be unhealthy, so allow yourself to release them. Use whatever medium you're most comfortable with. For example, writing, drawing, etc. You may also join support groups if you'd rather talk about your grief openly.
Talk to Friends And/Or Family Members
Sometimes, your sadness can make you desire isolation, but being alone for long periods of time would only worsen your loneliness. Turn to your friends and family members who are willing to be your shoulder to cry on. Accept whatever help they're willing to offer. You can also build new friendships during this difficult time, so don't close your doors.
Travel With Friends
Traveling is known to have multiple benefits, so take advantage of those while you're overcome with grief. Bring a trustworthy friend with you because it's easy to get caught up in the new scenery, which may lead to you making rash decisions or resorting to unhealthy and unsafe ways to ease your grief.
Bear in mind, however, that you may experience a new wave of emotions while you're in a different place. Your loneliness will be eased, but you may possibly feel guilty for enjoying while the rest of your family is still grieving back home. Clinical Psychologist Dr. Robert Gangi, PhD., says guilt is a common product of loss. Remind yourself that you're not traveling to escape your grief — you're only doing it to signify that you can start again. You're using it as a tool to heal while surrounded by new scenery instead of your comfort zone, which is currently a dark place for you.
When the grief and loss are just too heavy to bear, never hesitate to get professional help. With a therapist, you'd surely be on the healthy and safe side of coping with your grief. Open up yourself to them and listen to their advice. In time, you'd realize that you're slowly making peace with the situation, and you'd find joy again knowing that your departed loved one is watching over you, wanting nothing but for you to move on and smile again.