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Understanding and coping with loss and grief

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Own your feelings

It’s okay to feel whatever you’re feeling, to be confused or angry or sad. It’s okay to laugh and to cry. Sometimes you might even feel relief that some difficult or painful part of life has ended. Accept your feelings. They may change along the way. With time, the difficult feelings will ease.

Express your feelings

There may be both positive and negative feelings and memories. Find ways to express them. Try to pull them apart and understand them. Journalling, creative writing, drawing or singing may help you to get your feelings out.

Share your feelings

Don’t go through this alone. Talk to someone you trust. Let them know how you’re feeling. Find help too by connecting with others who’ve experienced the loss. Sharing your grief with others at ceremonies like funerals is one way to help you make sense of your loss and move forward.

Find humour in life

Enjoy a laugh as you normally would. Finding humour in life and being able to laugh can help get you through difficult times. Laughter can break the pain and help with healing. It is good for your body and mind.

Find meaning

For example, what can you learn from this experience? Can you find some good in this bad situation? What did the deceased mean to you? Has this experience left you with new insights or perceptions about yourself or about life? Have you learned something new about others?

Take care of yourself

Coming to terms with loss is stressful. Sleeping and eating right can help you feel better. Encourage a regular sleep routine. Yoga or deep breathing can help you relax. Making healthy food choices and eating at regular times will help too. And don’t forget to be kind to yourself, and do things you enjoy doing.

Move forward

Bit by bit you’ll be able to feel more like yourself, living in the present, planning for the future, and focusing less on your loss. Getting to the other side of grief does not mean you’ve forgotten your loved one. But you will be able to remember them in ways that allow you to move on with your life.

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