Losses are inevitable in life, however the nature of how an individual passes is the factor in which impacts how we emotionally react to learning of someone’s death. Healing from loss is possible through professional means. Psychotherapy assists with focusing on teaching individuals how to access buried memories, emotions, and associations with those who have passed away.
In order to navigate the death of a loved one, there are a number of important steps which must be considered:
- DO NOT attempt to avoid the feelings. Allow the natural process of the wave of confusing feelings arise. Accessing feelings can be completed through writing in a journal, joining a support group, and talk therapy.
- Connect with others: Join a support group led by a Licensed facilitator.
- Honor the memory : Create memorials, rituals, or even simple acts of recollection like lighting a candle or visiting their favorite place. By continuing to access memories, a person can remain psychologically connected to the positive associations.
- Engage in self-care: Taking care of yourself is crucial for managing feelings after the loss of a loved one. This can include activities like proper maintenance of sleep hygiene, healthy eating habits, allowing alone time while simultaneously minding the difference with isolation, exercising, meditation, and ensuring that you let yourself think about the person who has passed away.
- Seek professional help: Licensed Psychotherapists are trained in a variety of modalities to assist people in learning how to navigate the mental and physiological fog which is activated during Bereavement.. A therapist can help you process your emotions, develop coping strategies, and provide you with tools to implement outside of sessions.
Healing after a loss in no way, is a linear process and it is essential to manage expectations.
Removing pressure to ‘move on’ or ‘get on with life’ will be significant for decreasing symptoms after losses. Each person responds to loss very differently and this greatly depends on the nature of the relationship with the person who has passed away. Finding both positive and negative associations with the person, will allow internal validation of the lived experiences and can lead to a decrease in rumination of negative thoughts and memories.
Healing during the process of grieving means accessing a great deal of patience with the self. It is imperative to allow yourself permission to be vulnerable, reach out for support, and connect with like minded individuals who are in a stage of mourning, to assist with normalizing feelings and hopes during the grieving process. Reach out for help and begin to lift some of the heavy layers of pain.
Joining a group for support can help you on the path to healing, as the group environment can be less isolated than a one-on-one setting.
Our online support groups provide support and accountability, as well as a safe and supportive environment to practice new skills and behaviors. If you are struggling, support groups are a wonderful option to begin healing.