8 tips for coping with the death of a loved one
May 10, 2023
The death of a loved one is a process as bitter and sad as it is natural, since it is part of the life of practically all people. For this reason, the emotional pain that it generates is not in itself a psychopathology, although this experience tests our ability to manage our own feelings.
And in fact, in some cases a psychological alteration does arise that can be considered a disorder: complicated grief is treated, which occurs when we are unable to cope with the loss for a very long period, or when it affects us in such an intense way that it significantly damages our health.
Given this reality, it is important to know some effective strategies to help cope with the death of a loved one; Let's see the most important ones.
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Keys to coping with the death of a loved one
When someone very close to us dies, it seems as if the world stops; and in many ways, we must “learn” to live in a world in which that person is no longer there
Since not all human beings are the same nor do we face the difficult moments of life in the same way, below we offer in summary a series of General advice that we can apply daily to successfully face the death of a loved one, and that must be adapted to the characteristics and needs of each one.
It is a set of guidelines, guidelines or strategies that can help us move in the way as smoothly as possible through this painful experience, without engaging in self-sabotaging dynamics emotional.
1. try to talk about it
Instead of hiding what happened and not telling anyone what we think or feel, in the face of the death of a loved one we should talk about what happened, with friends or relatives who may be affected in the same way as us or with any other person.
Some people tend to keep quiet without communicating what goes through their heads in the face of a sudden loss, which tends to further complicate the chances of successfully coming out of the duel they are going through and gives rise to a taboo. This taboo makes the process of overcoming the loss more complicated, because it leads us to try to live as if that death had not happened. produced, exposing ourselves to situations of emotional vulnerability when it is evident that this desire does not correspond to the reality.
In addition, putting into words our discomfort helps us to see the situation more neutrally, to perceive it as it is without subtracting or adding importance to it, and without being afraid of those kinds of thoughts, something key to turning the page. Communicating one's own feelings also has a therapeutic effect that will make us feel better in the long term and that will allow us to begin to overcome the grief we are going through.
We must avoid at all costs closing in on ourselves and encourage ourselves to talk about the death that It has stalked us both on a family and friendship level, something that will provide us with relief therapeutic.
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2. Accept what you feel
Facing the death of someone we love involves accepting what we feel and feeling as our own all the pain that overwhelms us in these hard times. That is we must renounce any pretense of “blocking” ideas, thoughts or mental images.
Accepting one's feelings is about not trying to suppress any of our mental content (something that is impossible to do effectively anyway) and letting them surface.
- Related article: "Unconditional self-acceptance: what it is and why it improves our mental health"
3. Help others who are in the same situation
An unexpected death of someone who was important to us usually has a great painful impact on many other people, as well as ourselves.
It is in these cases when we must provide the help and emotional support that other people who may be having the same or worse than us in these circumstances may need.
Help friends, family, or others who may be experiencing pain or suffering it will also allow us to feel better about ourselves, knowing that we are doing a good deed to others and turning our emotional involvement in grief, on the one hand, into support tasks for people we care about, on the other.
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4. Participate in ceremonies
Participate in religious or civil ceremonies celebrated for the death of a person darling will also help us greatly on a psychological level and will allow us to say goodbye to our being darling.
This type of ceremonies, which can be both memorials and funerals, have the function of dismissing the person deceased as to remember her and make us feel better for symbolizing the end of a cycle of our life and the beginning of other. This helps us to change our mentality and accept that this stage is over.
In the same way, there are many activities that we can carry out in a personal capacity to remember the recently deceased person, such as planting a tree, reading a passage from a particularly significant book, or fulfilling a promise made to that person. person.
5. keep some memories
Preserving memories of the deceased person, whatever type they may be, will help us to always have present to our loved one and obtain the happiness of his memory in the most difficult moments of the duel. It's a way of integrate into our day to day the memories of that loved one, without necessarily linking them to the pain of loss. However, these memories should be rare, because if we try to keep all their belongings, we will actually be participating in the illusion that that person is still alive.
To preserve memories, it is common to set up a box or chest with photographs or belongings of the deceased person.
6. Avoid isolation
Some people tend, in the face of the recent death of a loved one, to isolate themselves socially and confine themselves to their homes for a while due to the intense pain they feel daily.
This is one of the worst strategies that can be put into practice to overcome mourning for someone's death important to you, as it only creates more pain and suffering by predisposing you to focus your attention on those memories painful, without being able to integrate them into a mentally healthy lifestyle.
Instead of isolating or secluding ourselves, it is necessary to leave the house frequently, carry out different activities that they can distract us from the pain felt and maintain contact with other people that we can during the day to day.
- Related article: "Unwanted loneliness: what it is and how we can fight it"
7. Take care of yourself physically
After an unforeseen death situation, many people they tend to neglect their most basic care and they can lose weight drastically or get sick in one way or another. The lack of hygiene or healthy habits will not only lead to physical effects, but also mental ones due to the general malaise and low self-esteem to which this gives rise.
8. ask for support
In case the situation completely overwhelms you, it is best to go to psychotherapy.
A qualified psychology professional will provide you with all kinds of practical emotional management strategies and guidelines to overcome grief.
In this sense, if you are interested in starting a psychotherapy process, get in touch with us; in Cribecca Psychology we will be happy to help you.