It happened; the worst-case nightmare scenario. Your phone rang and a voice on the other end told you the news no one is ever prepared to hear, but especially not now, not when they were fine just a day or two ago. Someone you love has died, and you’re left reeling.
Trying to cope with losing someone you love suddenly is awful, and you may feel like the grief will never end. The grieving process takes time, but there is a way through. Read on to learn how to get past the sudden loss of someone you love.
Stages of Grief
Although everyone grieves differently, there are some universal recognized stages of grief. Knowing what these are may help you understand what you’re feeling as you progress through the grieving process.
The first stage of grief is denial, when you may refuse to believe that the person you love is really gone. From there, you may move on to anger, at the person who you feel took this person from you, at yourself for not saving them, or even at the person, you lost.
After anger, most people turn to bargain. This may include something like asking God to bring that person back and take you in their place or trying to make up for their loss in other ways.
The fourth stage is depression, when you may feel the world is dark and pointless without that person in your life. And finally, you come to acceptance, when you understand that they are gone and can move forward with your life. This doesn’t mean that the pain of their loss is over, but rather that you have learned to accept its place in your life.
Physical Impact of Grief
Most of us think of grief as an emotional thing, but it can have a real physical impact, too. Knowing what these symptoms can include can help you understand why you’re feeling a certain way.
Many people have trouble sleeping after they experience a sudden loss. You may notice that you eat less or more than you did before or that you never have any energy. You might also find it difficult to concentrate on things you’re supposed to be doing.
Give Yourself Time
The best thing you can do after a tragic loss is to give yourself time. Grief takes time to recover from, and in the meantime, you’re going to be at less than your full function. This is to be expected, and you need to be gentle with yourself and recover at your own pace.
Try to take care of yourself during this time. This could be something as basic as making sure you eat three square meals every day or making it a point to go to a workout class every week. Do your best to give yourself space to have days where you just can’t cope as well.
Let Yourself Feel
After a sudden loss, you may experience a lot of emotions that can be very confusing. You may feel like you should squash these feelings because they don’t make sense. You may even feel guilty for feeling things like anger at the person you lost, which can make everything all the more confusing.
The best thing to do is to allow yourself to feel these emotions genuinely and without judgment. It may help to start a journal or use a self-care app to pin down the exact emotions you’re experiencing. This can also help you keep track of where in the stages of grief you are and what to expect next.
Talk to People
A lot of times in the wake of a loss, we can start to isolate ourselves from everyone around us. You may feel like no one else can understand what you’re going through or that they’re going to get tired of hearing you say over and over that you feel sad and angry and lost for months. But isolating yourself is the worst thing you can do when you’re recovering from a loss.
Talk to the people around you, even if you don’t feel like talking about the loss. Stay connected with them, and as you work through the grief process, talk to them about what you’re feeling. It may also be helpful to remember the person you lost with others who knew them.
Focus on What’s Important
After a loss, many people feel like they need to take another look at what’s really important in their life. The reality of losing a loved one can bring home just how impermanent life is. So you may find it helpful to spend some time focusing on what’s most important to you in your life.
Think about what really matters to you and what sort of life you need to be living to support those things. Even if your revelations don’t bring you around to a major lifestyle change, they may inspire you to do little things like tell people you love how much they mean to you. This new meaning in life can help bring something positive out of a very traumatic loss.
Use the Resources Around You
Dealing with a loss is one of the worst things we have to go through, and you shouldn’t feel like you have to do it alone. You have resources around you, so be sure to use them. This can range from talking to people about your grief to meeting with the Sweet lawyers about pursuing justice in a wrongful death case.
If you attend a church, temple, or mosque, speak to one of the leaders there about your loss and ask them to pray with you. If your work or school offers counseling services, consider talking to one of the counselors there. And if you continue to have physical or mental problems, talk to your doctor about those issues.
Learn How to Deal With Losing Someone You Love
Losing someone you love suddenly can be horrific and traumatic. But know that you need to give yourself time and space to recover. And reach out to the resources you have around you; they can’t make the pain of the loss go away, but they can make sure you’re not alone in dealing with it.
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