The grieving process can feel unpredictable. Some days are good. Some days getting out of bed feels like an insurmountable feat. Sometimes it makes sense: perhaps you’ve lost somebody very near and dear to you. Sometimes it doesn’t: perhaps you haven’t spoken in years or were never close in the first place. There’s no shortage of advice online, but we wanted to share what we’ve learned from our clients, who become friends and comrades while we coach them through the loss of the loved one. Here’s what they’ve shared with us about overcoming grief.
Tip #1: Cry
Fake-it-till-you-make-it advice is helpful (in fact, it made our list too), but taking the time to have a good, hard cry when you need it is critical for healing. Sometimes a good cry can serve as a way of honoring the memory of your loved one, of recognizing the deep void they’ve left behind, which can help you overcome your grief over time.
Tip #2: Symbolize life
Finding ways for your loved one to live on can bring peace during a time when it’s fleeting. If you have young children at home and lost your spouse, for example, you can see them living and breathing through your children every day. But if you don’t have something that literal, planting a tree or a plant that you can care for and watch grown and sit alongside can help. It symbolizes the circle of life, reminds you that all is well, and gives you a safe space where you can go to connect with your loved one.
Tip #3: Look for a sign
Some of our clients have shared that they’ve found the most healing in the small signs around them: perhaps a butterfly or a rainbow or a new bloom that symbolizes something the deceased felt connected to or enjoyed. For example, one client lost his wife, who loved hummingbirds. Every time he saw a hummingbird after that he saw it as a sign that all was well; that she was well and still present in his life.
Tip #4: Laugh
Take time to remember the fun times and the funny times. A good belly laugh is a great way to appreciate the life that was lived and distract yourself from the life that was lost.
Tip #5: Fake it till you make it
We don’t advise holding yourself together when you need to fall apart, but our clients have told us that keeping their hands busy and continuing their routines can be the most healing of all. Get out of bed. Take a hot shower. Cook like you did before. Go to work. Check the mail. Pay the bills. These mundane daily activities remind us that we’re still alive and life continues.
For more on overcoming grief, visit Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetery today.