How to Cope with Grief

By Reginald B. Riley, Ph.D., MSW, Director of Psychosocial Services

Many intense feelings accompany the experience of losing a loved one.

No matter if their passing happened recently or sometime ago, grief may cause emotions such as anger, anxiety and distress that can affect your ability to deal with daily tasks. It can be overwhelming.

While people grieve differently, it’s important to know that you do not have to face this journey alone.

Cornerstone Hospice’s bereavement counselors are available to provide support to people of all ages who are struggling with grief.  Whether one-on-one or as part of a grief support group, a specially trained professional can help guide a person as they move through the grief process using a number of tips:

Acknowledge your grief. There is a tendency to push away feelings of sorrow when, in fact, authenticating your grief with others – even strangers – can bring healing. Joining a grief support group, where you are meeting with others who are addressing their own struggles with loss, helps you realize you’re not alone.

Honor your loved ones. You may feel fine for a while and then the holidays approach, stirring up painful feelings. By celebrating your loved one, you will address the feelings of loss while affirming the importance of that person in your life. Addressing these feelings that may surface at birthdays, anniversaries or the holidays can be healing.

Take care of yourself. Grief can be draining, sapping your physical and mental energy. Sticking to a healthy regiment of eating well and exercising will help your body and mind. This includes treating yourself to enjoyable activities. Taking a trip, getting pampered or pursuing your hobby doesn’t mean you have stopped loving your loved one.

There is no set schedule for the feelings you may be experiencing. For some people, grief can last a while; but you can adapt to life without your loved one and even build a life that is satisfying.