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Coping With Tragedy: How To Help Yourself And Others Around You.

November 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Health & Wellness, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThySistas.comSometimes, life can be wonderful, but occasionally, it can throw a curveball, which makes you question everything. Perhaps the hardest thing we have to deal with as human beings is loss. Losing somebody close to you can turn your world upside down, and leave you feeling desperately low and helpless. If you’re grieving, or a close friend or family member has lost a loved one, here are some steps to help you cope.

Helping yourself

Take your time

People often feel that they have to get back to normal after losing a friend or relative. We put pressure on ourselves to bounce back and recover, and this can be counter-productive. While it can be helpful to be busy, it’s so important to take your time to grieve. Often, it can take weeks, months, even years, to actually process what has happened, let alone comes to terms with it. Don’t make deadlines or put too much pressure on yourself. Take every day as it comes. There may be days when you feel fine, and you’re happy to get out and about and see people, and there may be mornings when you feel like you can’t face the day. There’s no rulebook that says you have to be back at work within a week or feeling fine within a month. It doesn’t work like that, and most people grieve their entire lives. The difference is that time enables you to gradually learn to cope with life without that person.

Don’t be afraid to talk about the person you’ve lost

At first, when you lose somebody, it can be incredibly tough to talk about them and look at photographs and videos. In time, you might find that this gets easier, and you might actually start to take comfort from thinking about happier times, and looking back on memories. Don’t be afraid to keep that person’s memory alive, and to talk about them to other friends or family members. Go at your own pace.

Lean on your support system

Grief can make you feel like you’re alone, but you’re not. If you’ve got friends calling on you, or family members desperate to offer a shoulder to cry on, make use of that support system. Talking, crying or even just having a cuddle can make you feel better and enable you to see that you don’t have to get through this on your own.

Helping somebody close to you

If you have a friend or a relative who is grieving, it’s natural to want to help, but often, it can be difficult to know what to do. Bereavement can take its toll on even the strongest, happiest people and contribute to depression and prolonged periods of feeling helpless and hopeless.

Being there for your friend

If your friend or family member has lost someone, one of the most important things you can do is let them know that you’re there for them. Initially, you might find that they don’t want to see you or talk to you, but hang on in there, and make sure they understand that you’re just a phone call away. As they start to process what’s happened, you may find that they reach out and they’re ready to have a chat. Most of us aren’t trained grief counselors, and it can be tough to know what to say to make things better. You can’t replace that person, but you can look out for your friend and offer them emotional support.

Asking for help and advice

Sometimes, loss can be a trigger for severe depression, and in some cases, this can put people at risk of suicide. If you’re really concerned about a friend, it’s vital to seek help. You can contact charities and ask your doctor for advice, and there’s a selection of online suicide prevention courses available. Your friend may tell you that they are fine, and they don’t want to make a fuss, but trust your instincts. It’s better to care too much than not enough.

Be patient

Until you’ve been through the process of grieving, it’s virtually impossible to understand the impact loss can have on a person. As a friend, be patient, don’t apply any pressure, and continue to be there months, even years after the event. Some people never really get over the loss of a loved one, and even the most innocuous trigger, like a song on the radio, can bring everything flooding back. You might not know exactly what to say or do, but being there through thick and thin is all that matters.

There is nothing harder in life than losing somebody who meant the world to you. If you’re grieving, or you’re trying to help a loved one cope with loss, hopefully, you’ve found this guide useful.

Staff Writer; Lisa Adams

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