by Jessica Kane
In comparison with the past, people are currently living very fast-paced lives. While this certainly has its perks, it tends to interfere with some of the natural processes people must experience. When a person loses a loved one, he or she needs time to mourn that loss. Even more, that person needs support from other people. There was a time when entire neighborhoods shared in this experience, but that time has long passed. Nevertheless, it is essential for an individual’s well-being to actively participate in the grieving process. While everyone is different, there are coping strategies available to suit each individual.
Participate in Ceremonies
When a loved one dies, it is common practice for friends and families to hold funerals and other goodbye ceremonies. Participating in such rituals will provide individuals with a socially-acceptable venue to safely express their grief. They won’t feel out of place in their tears and sorrow because many others will be experiencing the same thing.
Funerals and memorial services also give people a break from their grief. By sharing funny or heartfelt stories, grieving individuals will be reminded of happier times with the deceased. They may even come to know new and interesting things about that person’s life that they never knew. Such a revelation will paint a fuller picture of the deceased in the minds and hearts of those left behind.
One of the biggest fears after losing a loved one is that he or she will be forgotten. This causes people to confuse the pain of grief with preserving a loved one’s memory. However, the length of time a person spends grieving is not an indication of the importance of the deceased.
A more effective way to preserve a loved one’s memory is to create a scrapbook. This is done by organizing pictures and placing them in a book. While sorting through the pictures and other mementos, people will be inadvertently preserving their loved one’s memories in their minds. At the same time, they will have created an item that immortalizes their loved one.
Join a Support Group
It is important to be around friends and family during times of grief. However, there may be times in which a person does not feel comfortable being completely vulnerable with those people. This is where a support group comes in handy.
Support groups provide a structured environment for individuals who are trying to cope with loss. They are places where people can be open and honest without the fear of being judged. They also give each member an opportunity to hear the thoughts and feelings of others. This may provide individuals an opportunity to recognize their own unrealized emotions.
Ultimately, these groups fulfill two basic human needs: the need to receive love and support, and the need to give it.
Exercise and Meditation
It’s no secret that exercise is beneficial for the mind and body. Not only does it boost the immune system, but also enhances a person’s mood. Understandably, exercise provides an avenue for grieving individuals to get a grip on their pain.
Some people consider the physical activity to be a welcomed distraction. While they’re running, dancing, or lifting weights, they find themselves focused on the task at hand. Such a break may be needed if a person hasn’t been coping well with a loved one’s death.
On the other hand, meditation gives grieving individuals a space to quiet their minds. By quieting their thoughts, they will be able to acknowledge what they’re feeling in the moment. If they’re willing, then grieving individuals can stare their pain directly in the face and embrace it. They will stop seeing it as something they need to run from. Instead, it will be seen as a natural part of the human experience that gets easier with time.
Some people have a difficult time putting their feelings into words. Grief is a highly-stressful experience, so it stands to reason that people won’t always have words to explain it. A way to move past this obstacle is through artwork.
Many well-known songs, poems, and paintings were inspired during times of grief. However, even a novice can utilize art as a medium to express feelings about loss. Art gives people the opportunity to externalize their grief. Being able to actually look at what they’re feeling will help people understand those feelings. Understanding those feelings will take a bit of the sting out of them.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Legacy Headstones, a leading Ohio-based headstone manufacturer and vendor.