The death of a loved one can feel overwhelming, and sometimes you may feel a mixture of emotions. There are things you can do that may help you cope with your loss and people who can support you through your bereavement. Read this blog on how to cope with bereavement.
When your loved one dies, your feelings will be influenced by many different things, such as the relationship with the person, what happened in the lead up to their death, and the support around you. However, your feelings are more likely to influenced by your personality, cultural background, and any religious beliefs you might have.
Remember, it is important to know that what is normal could be completely different for each and every other person. People can experience death differently, and it’s important to accept that it is okay to have these feelings. Grieving is normal – whatever it is, this is a healthy process that we all do when a loved one dies.
Preparing to lose someone is normal, because the person’s death was expected, they were falling ill, or had a terrible disease, such as COVID-19. But whatever the circumstances, it is very common to feel an initial sense of shock.
It might feel like your whole body feels weak, tingling, having pins and needles. You may feel numb, or worry because you haven’t cried. Feeling numb is one of the things that helps us to cope with very intense and distressing emotions. Gradually over time, the sense of numbness will go, and you will start to emerge from the fog.
When someone you love dies, some people will cry for days – it’ll be this incredible force that hits you straight away. However, some other people may find these emotions are unexpected. They may feel angry or guilty, thinking that they should have died instead of the loved one.
This may worry family members and friends; their grief feels so devastating that they don’t know how they can live with it all. But don’t worry, as over time their feelings of grief and loss may become less intense.
Relief is a normal response and not something you should feel guilty about. It doesn’t mean you didn’t love and care for them or that you are a bad person. If the person had a long illness and they were suffering – it may feel guilty to think that they’re no longer suffering anymore.
It is very common to feel angry when you are grieving. Your anger might be directed at different subjects such as: the fact that your loved one was taken before their time, things that happened or didn’t happen before they died, or that they are no longer there.
Feeling angry with circumstances, others or yourself. You might be angry for all of these reasons or for entirely different reasons. These are completely normal feelings.
How can I cope?
These different aspects mean that we all cope in different ways and you will find some things help you more than others. However, here are some things that may help you to cope. For example, focusing on one day at a time can help you cope with your feelings, and get you through the simple everyday tasks that can sometimes feel difficult to do when in bereavement.
Getting out the house not only gives you some physical exercise, but it can actually help you think positively. Especially, if you are feeling lonely, it can be healthy to see other people out and about. However, it’s more than important to seek support from family and friends, as well as others in a support group. Just because we encourage you to get out the house, the outside can also be a dangerous place if you are feeling suicidal. Talking through your feelings to a loved one may be tough at first, but it can help calm you down and potentially save your own life.