How to Deal with Loss
I'm going to start off by saying that we are all vastly different beings and we all deal with loss differently, and that's okay. Loss can also manifest in many different ways; loss of a loved one, loss of your home, loss of your identity, loss of a relationship, loss of your livelihood, etc.
My loss came in the form of my father, when he lost his battle with cancer. It was a very hard time in my life, and that was just over three years ago, right when the pandemic hit. Though it was a hard time and the loss was deep, I felt I also gained something.
I learned a deeper level of compassion and better understood how different everyone's grieving process really is. I also learned more about my own process and how to deal with it in a healthy way.
Here are some things I like to keep in mind when dealing with loss...
Be Kind to Yourself
It doesn't sound hard, but this can be quite the challenge. Being kind can take many forms, but the point is to not judge yourself or your journey. You may read many things that guide you through the process, but it's okay to not feel those exact feelings. Give yourself permission to grieve in your own way at your own pace. Only if it becomes harmful to you or others, that is where the line should be drawn.
Along with being kind to yourself, be sure to take extra care of your mental and physical self. It may be really hard sometimes and that's okay, but I found it profoundly helpful to prioritize my health during such hard times. Take time to meditate, exercise, eat healthy, do some retail therapy, and hang out with loved ones. I personally also found that being in nature, really made me feel more connected to the world, and that made me feel better. Remember, you're already going through a tough time, don't make things harder than they already are.
Don't Compare Yourself to Others
You don't need to compare your loss to others, everyone is on their own journey and that can look totally different from your own. Just because someone else is hurting or grieving as well, doesn't mean your feelings are any less real or insignificant to you. You're feelings are just as valid as their feelings. So do not compare who has it worse or who doesn't, but rather take that opportunity to appreciate the fact that you're not alone and others might understand what you're going through.
Don't Run Away from Your Feelings
While I understand everyone is different, it is important to not shove your feelings down. It's painful dealing with your feelings at times, yes, but you should face them at some point. Either you deal with them now, or they will show up unexpectedly later on. I personally do not show my feelings often, but I found that going through therapy really helped me open up in the right way. It helped guide me through my emotions to better articulate how I'm feeling so that I can understand myself better. It's okay to see a therapist, it doesn't make you any less of a person. It just helps guide you and is a healthy outlet for your emotions. I used to hold in all my tears, but through therapy, I learned that it feels much better to cry your heart out than to keep it all in.
As with all advice, feel free to take the parts you like and the other parts with a grain of salt. I hope this has helped even a little bit and that you find healing in your own way, at your own pace. Lastly, please know that it's okay to not be okay.