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4 Ways to Support Your Grief Journey

Grief Is Never Easy

Grief is an inevitable and universal human response to loss. When faced with losing a loved one, it is normal to feel an array of emotions, from guilt to shock. And while there is no magic formula to make it go away quicker or easier, it's vital to know that there are ways to cope with grief management.

The Stages of Grief

You will likely go through different phases of grief — known as the grief process — when you lose a loved one. As identified by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, there are five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Although the grief process is unique to each person, and these stages are not one-size-fits-all, the cycle provides a framework for understanding the basic types of grief and how one might move forward with them.

  • Denial stage: often includes feelings such as avoidance, confusion, shock, and fear.
  • Anger stage: includes frustration, irritation, and anxiety.
  • Bargaining stage: encompasses struggling to find the meaning of life, reaching out to others, and telling one's story.
  • Depression stage: often includes overwhelming feelings of helplessness, hostility, and flight responses.
  • Acceptance stage: involves exploring options for moving forward and taking on new outlooks.

It would help if you understood that you might move through multiple stages simultaneously, perhaps even skipping one along the way. Additionally, you may revisit stages as you face significant life changes.

Now that you understand the grief cycle let's discuss different ways you can support your grief journey.

Allow Yourself Time to Heal

The death of a loved one is a significant loss that will no doubt leave a mark on your life. While most understandably desire to make the process as short as possible, giving yourself time to grieve is essential. Avoiding grief may help in the short term but will likely worsen your situation in the long run.

When you need help, don't hesitate to ask for it. Remember that no one is immune to grief and that you don't have to tackle it alone. Support groups are fantastic resources for those grieving, as you will meet with others dealing with similar issues, and they can offer you empathic understanding.

Additionally, professional help or friendly support from your friends and family is always available. All you have to do is reach out!

Find a Hobby or Activity You Enjoy

Spending time participating in activities you enjoy, and preferably with other people, can go a long way towards helping you cope with grief. Engaging in enjoyable activities will give you a sense of pleasure and satisfaction. You can turn to hobbies or activities that you enjoyed before the death of a loved one or try something new.

Exercising is an excellent example of an activity to participate in while grieving. Achievement and progress are wonderful ways to boost your mood. Additionally, several studies have shown that regular physical activity can be as effective as antidepressants when treating stress, anxiety, and depression. We suggest joining a weekly exercise class where you can manage your negative feelings, lift your mood, and increase your energy levels!

Stick to a Regular Schedule

One of the best ways to cope with grief is to try and maintain a routine as much as possible. Taking the time to go through your daily routine and responsibilities can help you feel grounded and in control of your life again. Similarly, maintaining a regular sleep schedule, eating at standard times, and returning to work as you are ready can help you feel stronger and more capable. While it will not happen overnight, try to make each day a little easier than the last.

Ensure Your Loved One Is Well Taken Care of After Death

Ensuring your loved one is well cared for when the time comes can assist with your grief journey. This could include assisting your loved one with drafting a will or establishing a financial power of attorney. Doing so will ensure their assets are secured, and their family is financially protected after death.

Furthermore, you will feel better knowing that your loved one will be cared for proceeding with their passing. You can work with your loved ones while they are still here to set up a pre-planned funeral that honors their wishes. You should also select a funeral home that you are familiar with and trust to have a reliable mortuary service on hand.

A Life Well Lived Is a Life Well Celebrated at Callaghan Mortuary & Livermore Crematory

At Callaghan Mortuary & Livermore Crematory, we understand the grief process and provide dedicated service to the families that walk through our door. We've helped parents, children, and friends lay their loved ones to rest for over 113 years.

Understanding the importance of treating your loved one with respect and dignity, you can count on our tradition of outstanding service. To learn more about our services — from non-denominational funerals to grief management resources — contact us online today or give us a call at (925) 492-7500.