Dear fellow human,
I am so sorry that someone you loved so dear has passed away. Please understand that you are not alone. I have been through this experience myself years ago and then again recently. Here are a few things I have learned whilst on this journey called grief.
No, you don’t have to be strong
Strength is opening that box of memories, even though you know it will make you cry. It’s saying their name out loud in public for the first time in casual conversation. Strength in grief is acknowledging, feeling, and expressing emotion.What’s Your Grief
Crying is a form of relief, and yes, that pain in your chest needs to be alleviated somehow. The sobs that seem to overtake you are a part of the process. Contrary to popular opinion, strength is being honest about your feelings and vocalising your fears, pain and agony with no care for what others think of you.
As you go through the feelings of shock and confusion, you don’t know what you might do. So yes, you can find a safe space and let it out. If that means you need to get away from prying eyes and well-meaning people telling you to stay strong, then that’s absolutely fine.
Don’t try sorting through their stuff just yet
When people die, they leave everything behind. Absolutely everything. So returning to the home you shared together and seeing all their things might make you cry all over again. Despite this fact, you shouldn’t be the one to pack their things. If you are in this predicament, perhaps you can enlist the help of a friend who can help pack those things away into a place you won’t have to see their items every day and grieve them all over again.
It will take some time to make sense of your new reality
After you lose someone so dear, you won’t be yourself for a while. It takes time to really wade through your intense emotions. It takes time to accept that your loved one is no longer here with you. But, as you wade through the feelings of anger to shock and then to acceptance, slowly, you will begin to make sense of your new reality.
Find comfort in your faith
As a Christian, I believe that my loved ones who have died are in heaven. The truth is, my faith means everything to me. It has brought me so much comfort during the lowest points in my life. That’s why it’s essential to have something you believe in that will keep you going on the toughest of days.
Consider taking a break
After planning a funeral and giving your loved one a send-off, chances are you will need to take a break. The most challenging time is usually after the funeral because that’s when real life starts. It will be an emotional time, so if you can, try to take a few days to yourself before going back to work. Remember that you are not a robot; you have just been through an unfortunate ordeal, so try to be kind to yourself.
Don’t go it alone
Do you know that saying, ‘it takes a village?’. It has some truth to it. I have learned that I need to lean on your friends and family for moral support during times of greif.
I am blessed to have a fantastic church community and friends who have called me up and checked up on me constantly since my father passed away.
Keep your loved ones memory alive
At first, it might be painful to talk about your loved one who has passed away. It might even make you cry. Sometimes, we suppress all memories about our loved ones for months and years until we wake up one day only to realise that we don’t even remember the way things they used to say or even the sound of their voice. We don’t realise that forgetting essential things about your loved ones is one of the most heartbreaking parts of grief.
So why not keep their memory alive even though it might hurt? Even though you might cry through your first conversation about your loved one, it might not be so hard the next time you talk about them.
‘I believe that the dead are only truly gone when we cease to speak their name.’
Here are some of the ways you can work to keep the memory of your loved one alive:
- Watch videos of them.
- Open birthday cards they wrote to you.
- Re read the messages they sent to you.
- Share your favourite memories about them with your friends and family members.