The tragedy that struck the Humboldt Broncos Organization really had me thinking. How where these people who had lost someone special suppose to go on? How are they to deal with the death of a loved one? Throughout my life I have been to many funerals and offered condolences to those who have lost someone close to them. Through these experiences I received many offers of sympathy. Getting through this time of sorrow wasn’t easy but with a lot of guidance and help I was able to keep going.
HELP YOU WILL FIND IN PART 1
In Part 1 of “Help For Those Who Are Grieving” I covered: Acknowledge Your Pain, Share Your Thoughts And Feelings, Cry It Out, Take Time For Yourself and Call A Friend. Here I continue with more suggestions for those who are grieving. Most people need help during this time. No one should be left to grieve alone. There are many ways we can help ourselves to get through the grieving process.
SUGGESTIONS TO HELP THROUGH THE GRIEVING PROCESS
- GET OUT OF THE HOUSE – Don’t stay shut up inside day and night. Moping around is not a good thing. Make a lunch date with someone and meet them or have them pick you up. Even if you don’t feel like eating just have something to drink. At least you are getting out. Go for a walk even if it is only for 10 minutes. The important thing here is that you made an effort to get out of the house. Take a walk alone or with a friend. Just getting out in the fresh air can help you to feel better.
- TAKE OFFERS OF HELP – If your friends call and want to come over or bring a meal over accept it. If they want to run errands for you let them. Don’t be afraid to let people do things for you. It will make them feel good and will help you out.
- READ YOUR SYMPATHY CARDS – Believe it or not reading the sympathy cards you received can help in the healing process. As you read the cards the words will likely make you cry but this is fine. By reading them you will see how many people really care. Take time to read over the names in the guest book from the funeral home. You will find comfort in knowing how many people where there to support you. This actually brings comfort.
- READ A BOOK – Go to your local library or book store and get a book of Inspiration or quotes. You won’t likely feel like doing a lot of reading. I wouldn’t suggest trying to dive into a novel during this time. It may be hard to concentrate so limit your reading to light reading. Reading a book of jokes can also lighten the moment. Many of you won’t feel like laughing during this time but even something that puts a smile on your face is good.
- LOOK AFTER YOURSELF – Do not neglect yourself during this time. Make sure you eat right. Even if you don’t feel like eating a little is better than nothing. Exercise and make sure you get plenty of sleep. These things can all help in the healing process. By not doing any of them you will actually feel worse.
- PAMPER YOURSELF – You won’t feel like pampering yourself. However, having a nice hot bubble bath although a temporary solution will help you relax. You will feel relaxed and good after having it. Even making an appointment and get your hair done, having manicure or pedicure are things that will help you feel better.
- PLAY A GAME – Games are great therapy so play something on line that you like or have a game of cribbage with a friend. Even playing a game of cards with some close friends will help. How about a game of golf? This will at least get you out of the house.
- GO TO A MOVIE – This may not work for everyone especially if you and your loved one used to go to the movies. I would suggest going alone take a friend along. If you don’t feel like leaving the house than watch one at home. Try to choose something that is uplifting to watch.
- CONTINUE YOUR HOBBY – Continue with your hobbies and interests. If you like to work in the garden than by all means go out and putter around in it. If you like knitting or crocheting continues on with your project. Don’t give up on what you like to do because you are grieving. These things can be a slight distraction from what is currently going on in your life. Although you will still think about your loved one when you are gardening, knitting or crocheting you will be doing something you enjoy.
- TURN TO YOUR FAITH – Regardless of what you believe you may find comfort in speaking to a clergy member. They are trained in dealing with pain and sorrow and can help you get through yours.
- SET ASIDE TIME TO GRIEVE – Just going to a quiet place and being alone for 10 to 15 minutes a day is good for your body and mind. Either go and lay down somewhere or sit in a comfortable chair. Playing soft music in the background can help you to relax. You can also find a nice quiet place outside to be alone.
- WRITE A LETTER – Write a handwritten letter or type one on the computer to your loved one. Tell them how you are really feeling. Express your feelings lost, lonely, angry, sad.
- WRITE A STORY – Write a story about your loved one. Go back over things you did together, places you went, feelings you had. Just jot down some happy thoughts and funny stories you shared with them.
- PURCHASE SOMETHING IN MEMORY – Buy something in memory of them. When my Mother passed away I went right out and bought several angels. I always thought of my Mother as an angel and this helped me through my grief. Another friend I know bought a cardinal ornament in memory of her Mother. Yet another friend bought a locket to wear with her Mother”s picture in it. Another planted a tree and yet another planted a rose bush all in memory of a loved one.
- COLLECT ITEMS IN MEMORY OF THEM – If it would help go around and collect items that they treasured and make a memorial in honour of them. A shrine for lack of better words.
- TALK TO THEM – Don’t be ridiculous! How can I talk to them they are gone? Yes, they are gone in body but not in spirit so have conversations with them if it makes you feel better. Although the conversation will be one sided there is a lot of closure talking to them. You will likely choose to do this when you are alone but if it helps go ahead and talk to them.
- RECORD THEIR FAVOURITE SONGS – Making a playlist of their favourite songs so you can listen to it can help.
- WRITE EMOTIONS DOWN – Write your emotions down on paper all of them. Every day check what you have written down is there any you can cross off? Every time you cross off an emotion you are healing.
- CELEBRATE WITH THEM – On their Birthday, on an Anniversary, at Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day whatever the occasion make sure you continue the tradition you had with them.
- FIND A SUPPORT GROUP – When I lost my Brother this was suggested to me. However, I wasn’t comfortable expressing my feeling in front of a group of strangers. This isn’t for everyone but I know of those who have gone and got great support and felt good about going. I have heard people that found great comfort in this atmosphere as everyone there was suffering like they are. Others who went didn’t get anything out of it and left feeling worse. You can try it and if it isn’t for you that is fine. Your Doctor can likely help you find a group to join.
- MEDICATION – I listed this last as it can be a very dangerous alternative if medications are used the wrong way. However, it may be the only thing you feel will help. Sometimes we do need medications to help us get through our grief. Never use alcohol or drugs to numb the pain because when they wear off you will feel worse. Medications shouldn’t be used to make us feel better because this is only a temporary fix. If you need help to relax or sleep contact your Doctor. A light sedative can certainly help through your grieving period. For the short term, medications may be the answer. What you have to be careful with though is taking medications on your own. Even over the counter meds can be very dangerous.
You many not feel like trying any of these suggestions and I can totally understand. However, if you do only one thing it is a start. Will the road ahead be easy, no? However, by taking one step at a time and through the support of family and friends you will start to heal.
Here are some articles you might find interesting on how to deal with Grief