Like taxes, the inevitability of death means that we have to handle grief sooner or later. Such a life changing event leaves many of us numb and unsure of what to do. Even if the departed is not within our immediate family circle, handling grief is an experience none of us looks forward to.
But we need not be helpless about it, as there are a few tips we’d like to share on how to handle grief:
- Grief is the natural emotion to a grievous loss – the range of emotions that accompany it include sadness, disbelief, pain, anger, and even guilt. Many times, one is even surprised by the intensity of the guilt felt even though the death is more or less expected.
- If you are in the position of providing support for a grieving person, be aware that a grieving person does not always know what they need. Little things like staying by their side or assisting in arrangements (hospital, family matters, funeral arrangements) goes a long way toward helping a person in grief cope. For one who is grieving, be conscious of the fact that the tumult of emotions may make you feel overwhelmed in making decisions, so do accept offers of help and support.
- Directly affected or not, grieving is a process. Different people use different mechanisms to cope. Some take heart in partaking in religious rituals, gatherings, and public remembrances. Others prefer a more closely knit circle. When lending support, be conscious of a person’s religious beliefs or inclinations to avoid aggravation. The period of getting over a loss differs from person to person. Many say that the pain of loss is always there, learning to cope with the pain is what enables one to move on.
- Don’t forget one’s health. Often, the loss of a loved one leads to despair and an uncaring attitude – towards life, towards others, towards one’s health. Loss of sleep and appetite are common traits for one who has been left behind. If you are someone lending support to a grieving person, inviting them out to meals or even just going out helps a lot in the grieving process.
- Major life decisions after a death can be tainted by emotion. If is therefore important to not make a major decision soon after a death. Letting a year pass before you or someone you are helping move on make a decision ensures that that decision has been better thought of.