Dealing with Bereavement
Everyone will deal with and experience grief and bereavement at some point in their life, whether that is when losing something or someone close to them.
It’s very easy for these feelings to affect your life, however, there are many things that you can try to help you cope and support yourself and others around you through bereavement.
Is Bereavement Normal?
When someone close to you passes away, you may find that how you feel is influenced by many different things.
This can include the relationship you had with this loved one, what happened in the lead up to their death and the support system you have around you.
It’s important to understand that everyone will deal with and show bereavement differently, and there will be many different reactions. It’s very likely that your experience will be different to another loved one.
Remember, it is ok to experience these feelings. It is totally normal and healthy to process these feelings in a way that suits you and helps you learn to live with the news.
What You May Feel During Bereavement
You may have felt as though you were well prepared for the news, maybe the person’s passing was expected or simply because you have previously lost someone close to you. However, whatever the circumstances, it’s incredibly common to feel shocked.
You may feel as though you are living in a fog for a good few months after learning that a loved one has passed. This may feel like numbness, and perhaps you may worry because you haven’t cried yet.
This feeling of numbness is just one of the things that will help you to cope with the very intense and distressing emotions you are feeling right now.
However, gradually, over time you will find the fog lifting and the numbness leave you.
For some, the full force of grief will hit them immediately, and you may find yourself crying an awful lot. Perhaps you expected to grieve this deeply, and prefer to accept your emotions, or maybe this came as a shock.
You may feel overwhelmed, however never feel as though you cannot cope and you’ll never live with such grief. However, over time, these feelings of loss will become less intense and you’ll find the right way for you to live with them.
It’s more common than you may think to feel a sense of relief when someone close to you passes away, particularly if they have been suffering from a long-lasting illness and you have been the main carer.
If you feel like this, don’t feel guilty. Relief is a totally normal response and it most definitely doesn’t mean you didn’t love or care for them.
Finally, it is very common to feel angry that you are grieving. Your anger may be directed towards the fact that your loved one was taken so early, things that did or didn’t happen before they passed, or simply the fact that they won’t be there anymore.
Remember, these are totally normal feelings.
The Physical Symptoms of Bereavement
It is totally normal to not only experience emotional symptoms of grief but also physical symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, a loss or increase of appetite, headaches, or feeling drained.
These are all normal reactions to losing someone you love. Just remember to keep yourself kindly and carefully, giving yourself the time and space you need.
What You Can Do When Dealing with Bereavement
There are lots of different factors that affect someone dealing with bereavement, such as the kind of relationship you had, how you normally deal with emotional situations and the support you have around you. We all cope in different ways and it’s totally personal when it comes down to what helps you cope.
Take Each Day as it Comes
Taking each day at a time is a very good way to cope with your feelings and get you through everyday tasks as normal.
Keeping yourself busy or taking some time out to spend time doing different activities will all help.
Alternatively, you may want to take things much slower and take time out of your day-to-day activities.
At the end of the day, you’ll want to work out what is best for you.
Recognise your Emotions
Lots of the emotions you feel as you are grieving will manifest themselves as physical symptoms.
For example, when you are angry, your jaw might clench.
Sometimes, when you recognise those physical emotions may help you to recognise your deeper emotions.
Get Out of the House
Not only does getting out of the house help you get your daily physical exercise, but it is also a great way to clear your head.
It’s easy to feel lonely when you are stuck at home, so taking the time to get out and see other people can make a huge difference.
Seeing Family and Friends
If you’ve got the support of family and friends, make sure to talk through your feelings with family and close friends, or join a dedicated bereavement support group.
Getting Back to ‘Normal’
The death of a loved one can feel incredibly overwhelming, and the aim will not be to go back to normal. Instead, it is about how your life has changed and being able to balance the good days and bad days.
It’s not about moving on or forgetting your loved one, but learning how to live with the grief you feel.
Finding balance doesn’t mean that there is no room in your life for the person who has passed, the connection you had will continue. You may find comfort in taking a moment to say good morning to them when you wake up or talking to their grave, this is completely nothing and something that lots of people do.
Here at the elms funeral directors, we believe in the importance of offering you all of the support you need when it comes to the passing of a loved one and arrange a funeral. We’re a family business of caring professionals who are here to help you when it comes to this sad period in your life. Feel free to give us either a phone call on 01934 616996 or send us an email.