You Don’t Have to Go Through It Alone
Grief can feel so isolating, yet it’s almost a universal experience. According to one report, about 2.5 million people in the United States die annually, each one leaving behind approximately 1-5 closely attached people. Each loss is like a ripple, touching many individuals.
Although nearly everyone experiences grief, it is a period when many feel intense loneliness. Someone with whom they shared a relationship is gone, and no one else can fill the void in the same way. When you are mourning a loss, you might not have the strength or desire to spend time with others. You may also believe that no one else can understand your pain. This feeling is accurate — no two people grieve in the same way.
It can be healthy to spend time in solitude to process your feelings. However, loneliness is different from being alone. Unlike solitude, loneliness feels painful and unfulfilling. It can lead to health problems such as depression, heart disease, obesity, and hypertension. Fortunately, there are many ways to stay connected with others as you grieve.
Preserve Your Memories
A scrapbook, memory box, or folder of mementos can help you hold onto your loved one’s memory. Get together with family members and gather photos, quotes, or personal belongings. Each individual probably has different stories to share and enrich your memory collection. It is an excellent way to spend time together and share collective feelings.
Losing someone you love triggers all kinds of anxiety. You may have funeral planning, hospital bills, and life insurance policies to contend with, all while you are overcome with emotion. Add on the fact that you may be losing sleep and dealing with an altered daily routine, and it’s no wonder you are stressed.
Recognizing your stress triggers can help you nip it in the bud. It’s also an excellent reason to ask others for support when you need it. Are you facing a pile of thank-you cards after the funeral? Ask a friend to help you address them. Do you have a long list of phone calls to return? Call a few people and ask them to contact others on your behalf.
Loved ones often want to support you when they know you’re hurting, but they may not know what to do. They can be as grateful for a task as you are for the assistance.
Meditate With a Friend
Meditation is a practice that directs you to the present moment. Sometimes it is necessary to distract yourself from grief to preserve your mental health. Avoiding it altogether, however, does not allow you to heal. Meditation can be a tool to help you focus on the here and now and let your feelings surface.
You may think of meditation as a solitary experience, and it often is. However, sharing the occasion with a loved one can bring you both healing. Consider asking someone you trust to practice meditation with you.
The journey through grief is never easy, and its path is different for everyone. However, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to walk it alone. Take time for privacy when you need it, but don’t let yourself become too isolated. You may find that by asking people to join you along the way, you help them heal, too.
Article by Camille Johnson from bereaver