Dealing with sudden loss, such as the loss of a loved one, a job, a relationship, or any other significant change, can be an incredibly challenging and emotionally distressing experience. Coping with sudden loss requires time, self-care, and support.
You need to be careful with your feelings during times of sudden loss. They are capable and convincing liars. After a job loss for instance they may try to convince you that you’re somehow a diminished person. That you are less than you were before. That’s all BS. You matter as much as ever. You make the world better because you’re in it. You bring value to the people in your life and you should never doubt that for a minute.
But suffering any significant loss is tough. There is no doubt about that. Here are some steps and strategies to help you navigate this difficult period.
• Allow yourself to grieve: It’s important to acknowledge your feelings and give yourself permission to grieve. Grief is a natural response to loss, and it’s okay to feel a wide range of emotions, including sadness, anger, guilt, and confusion.
• Seek support: Reach out to friends and family for emotional support. Talking to someone you trust can provide comfort and a sense of connection during this difficult time. You may also consider joining a support group or seeking the help of a therapist or counselor to talk through your feelings. You should know this absolute fact…THERE IS NOT A HINT OF SHAME IN NEEDING SOME ADDITIONAL SUPPORT IN A TIME OF LOSS.
• Take care of your physical health: Grief can take a toll on your body, so it’s important to maintain your physical health. Eat nutritious meals, get enough sleep, and engage in regular physical activity to help manage stress and maintain your overall well-being.
• Create a routine: Establishing a daily routine can provide structure and stability during a time of upheaval. Having a sense of predictability can be comforting and help you regain a sense of control.
• Avoid major life decisions: During the initial stages of grief, try to avoid making significant life decisions, if possible. You may not be in the best mindset to make clear choices, and your perspective can change as you process your loss over time.
• Write or journal: Expressing your feelings through writing can be therapeutic. Keeping a journal can help you explore your emotions, track your progress, and gain insight into your grief journey.
• Memorialize or commemorate the loss: Find a way to remember and honor the person or thing you’ve lost. This could involve creating a memorial, holding a memorial service, or participating in activities that remind you of positive memories.
• Be patient with yourself: Grieving is a unique and individual process, and there is no set timeline for when you should “get over” your loss. Allow yourself to heal at your own pace and don’t rush the process.
• Seek professional help if needed: If your grief becomes overwhelming, persistent, or disrupts your ability to function in daily life, it’s important to consider speaking to a mental health professional who can offer guidance and support.
Remember that healing from a sudden loss is a gradual and ongoing process. If you have people in your life who tell you to “just get over it” then it might be time to be over them. They may be well meaning but they clearly don’t understand significant loss. I’d advise against taking advice from the “just get over it” types.
Over time, the intensity of your grief may lessen, but it’s common for waves of sadness to resurface, especially on anniversaries or other significant dates. By taking the time to address your emotions and seeking support when needed, you can work through your grief and eventually find a sense of peace and acceptance.