Grief takes many forms and may effect each person differently. When someone close to you passes, a period of grief is natural and part of the healing process. After a funeral, it may take months or years to feel like yourself again. A wave of emotions is expected, and it’s helpful to have a grief support system around you to help you cope when you want to share stories, memories and feelings.
A Range of Emotions is Normal
You may experience a range of emotions when dealing with grief. This is normal, and the emotions and ways you deal with grief vary depending on the relationship with the departed, your own personal characteristics and life history, the specific aspects of your loved one’s death, the social situation surrounding you, and your physical state. Your grieving period may differ from other family members grieving the same person. This may be because of your unique relationship with the loved one and the role they played in your life. The actual emotions associated with bereavement can range from sadness and anxiety to helplessness, feeling overwhelmed or fear. If at any point you feel you can no longer take appropriate care of yourself so that your health or life is at risk, it is imperative that you seek professional assistance immediately.
Grief Resources are Available
As you embrace the pain of your loss, it’s important to take care of yourself. Through our experience helping those grieving the loss of a loved one, we’ve learned that there is no specific time frame for healing. Take the time to understand your emotions as you cope with your loss, pay attention to your own well-being and seek resources when help is needed. That’s why Dignity Memorial® has compiled a collection of resources to help. At our online Grief Resources Library, you’ll find ways to help yourself and others manage and endure the grieving process. We also offer families unlimited complimentary access to our Compassion Helpline, a 24-hour line of communication with professional grief counselors, for 13 months after services provided by any Dignity Memorial provider. In addition, anyone who attends a visitation, chapel or celebration of life service will have access to this helpline for three months after a service.
Tips for Self-Care
Be sure to take all of the time you need to care for yourself during the grieving process. Returning to normal activities, hobbies and places can be helpful as you heal. Give yourself permission to feel emotion as you reminisce, whether it’s sadness, anger or happiness, and be sure not suppress these feelings. Maintaining a proper diet, sleep patterns and exercise regimen, even if it’s just walking around the neighborhood, can also be beneficial. Make sure you have a support group to lean on through the first year, and keep a journal to write down any thoughts or feelings you may have. And please, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Whether it’s running errands, notes of encouragement or a comforting meal, let your friends and family know how they can help you.
Remember, grief feels different to everyone. It’s important not to compare your grieving process with someone else’s. Take care of yourself, and if you need additional support, your local Dignity Memorial professionals at Cruikshank’s Halifax Funeral Home, A.L. Mattatall Funeral Home and JA Snow Funeral Home are here to help. Visit their online Grief Resources Library for more information, or find your local provider at DignityMemorial.ca to speak with a local professional.