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How Does One Recover from Grief?

Unexpected and sometimes sudden death can be highly traumatic for those who lived with or knew the person who died, especially the bereaved family.

They may feel angry, guilty, socially isolated, shamed, shocked, which can be some of the many things they may experience. Besides the mix of emotions, grief following suicide often contains a prolonged search for an explanation for the person’s death. There could be so many questions that linger in their minds, making their grieving more complex and draining, as often they can never really be sure of what the person was thinking or feeling when they chose to end their life. The intensity and complexity of their grief can be affected by their relationship with the person who died, the circumstances surrounding their death, existing coping strategies, available support networks, and many more. 

The question now that could be raised is this. How could we help people recover from grief? Here are some of the tips that one may consider.

  • Give them time to grieve. There is no specific timeline as to when it should end, how long grief lasts, or how a person should feel after a particular time. After 12 months, it may still feel like everything happened yesterday, or it may feel like it all happened a lifetime ago. Just let the process run its course. These are some of the feelings they might have when coping with grief longer-term.
  • Respect their way of coping and going through the whole process of healing. This is because there is no right or wrong in grieving. In a group situation or a family, the pain and hurt can make communicating difficult, and conflict can arise. So, keep communications open but also respect their coping techniques.

There can also be some activities that could help them with their grief. To name a few are the following.

  • Have them think alone, mourn for their deceased, encourage them to meditate, and pray that they may accept the situation. These may help a person stabilize the extreme, confusing emotions accompanying loss and help them return to their renewed beliefs. Prayer and meditation are very personal tools. These tools can help them through the darkest of times. If they are having trouble accepting the death of their loved ones, prayer and meditation can lead them to acceptance. When they can trust in a higher power of their choice and establish a relationship through prayer, they can regain their lost hope and let them learn to accept the death of their loved one, if not understand it.
  • Help them find distractions-to provide time out from the pain. This could be in the form of physical activities like sports which they love or used to do. As they perform physical activities, the levels of chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin, stress hormones, and endorphins, change. This can help them sleep better and improve their sense of control, self-esteem, and, most importantly, coping ability. Allow them to have fun. Social events or pleasant activities can provide them with relaxation. Laughter heals, and it’s also okay for them to cry. 
  • Introduce them to a support group, institution, or professionals that offer therapy and counseling services such as Vonne Solis’ Grief coaching service. Apart from helping them cope with their loss, grief counseling lets them treat their trauma, express their emotions, address their feelings of guilt that they may harbor, build a robust support system to help them carry on, and let them come to terms with their new reality. 

Living with the pain of unresolved loss is unhealthy and can lead to complicated grief, which is more severe, long-lasting, and difficult to remedy. Online grief counseling enables those experiencing grief to seek treatment in the comfort & familiarity of their own homes.

  •  Counseling gives them time and space to work through their problems and can help them regain wellbeing and balance in their life. Therapy helps them gain a different perspective on problems and issues and provides a safe, non-judgmental, and respectful environment.

Most people become aware that life will never be the same. Grief will subside, and you’ll experience more frequent and more extended periods of energy and hope. Memories will become less painful, and the loved one who died will become part of life in a new way.

Vonne Solis

Vonne Solis is an author, grief advocate, healing practitioner and bereaved parent serving the bereavement community, with a special interest in helping newly bereaved parents and those who have lost a loved one to suicide.