Grieving the Loss of a Family Member/Loved One: How to Cope, and How to Incorporate Their Memory into What You Do Going Forward (French version available)
Without a doubt, losing a family member/loved one is one of the most difficult experiences a person can endure. Life will never be the same without them and the grief you feel right now may seem overwhelming.
If this is what you’re going through, here is some advice on how to cope and incorporate their memory into what you do going forward:
Spend Time With Those Who Support You And Take Time For Yourself
Though everyone deals with this type of loss differently, it would be best to spend time with others you can depend on for emotional support as well as take time for yourself. Temporarily stepping back from certain activities is also encouraged, especially for those who have busy schedules involving extracurriculars.
What’s Most Important Is Actually Allowing Yourself To Process Your Loss
Facing grief is challenging and its understandable if you’re afraid to do so. Nonetheless, it’s still crucial that you truly allow yourself to process this loss. Often times, some find it easier to throw themselves into their work or find other means of staying distracted in an attempt to avoid these emotions, which can be harmful. Another similar strategy that’s also unhealthy is keeping your feelings bottled up inside. Its absolutely fine if you enjoy staying busy, but if you’re doing so because you’re avoiding the process altogether, there will be a good chance of your negative emotions pouring out when you least expect them to.
Obviously, dealing with a situation like this takes time, so be patient with yourself.
How To Incorporate Their Memory Into What You Do Going Forward…
Writing about the person and/your experience with them can be incredibly therapeutic. For those who are in their later high school years, many English teachers assign students prompts/compositions that allow for this kind of freedom. They also tend to appreciate the amount of thought and emotion put into these assignments.
…In Your Personal Life
Of course, you could also write essays or stories about them in your personal life. It would be beneficial for future generations and if they’re curious about this person and would like to know more, they could always refer to these documents.
Another option is photos. Do you have any pictures of this loved one that could be organized in a photo album? Would you consider creating a collage or scrapbook with some of these pictures so you can document their memorable/joyful moments? This is a great way celebrate them and provide yourself with time to reminisce, especially if you played a part in the moments you’d like to highlight.
…In Other Work
Another potential endeavour could be starting a club or holding a fundraiser for a cause that your loved one was passionate about. There might be something you could coordinate with those you know, e.g. friends, co-workers, family members, etc.
Overall, acknowledge what you’re feeling and trust that you’ll be OK. If you take the advice above, you’ll more than likely cope as best as you can and successfully incorporate your loved one’s memory into all the main areas of your life.