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Coping with Grief

    Loss of any type is difficult. Whether you lose your keys, favorite pen, or an important relationship, coping with the deficit can be challenging. Obviously, the death of a family member or friend is much different than misplacing a random object, but i do think there are some similarities in coping mechanisms which could be applied to either situation.

    First, acceptance. Death is a very touchy subject because in reality, no one knows what comes after it. Are we sent to heaven/ hell? Do our souls escape our bodies and continue to wander as displayed in paranormal movies? The afterlife is unknown, which for me is the scariest part of any passing. As frightening as it is, everyone dies and you can’t avoid it.

    I experienced the death of a family member at a pretty young age. Brian, my uncle was diagnosed with cancer when I was eight. He passed away a few months later. Before this, I understood the general concept of departure, but because I hadn’t viewed it first hand, it hit hard. After this came several more losses of family and friends. The grieving process is very complicated because it’s different for everyone.

    Remembrance is important. Although our loved ones may not be with us physically, their legacy will continue through memories, photos and stories. Brian was a landscaper. His creative ability to repurpose land was incredible, and it was evident in his work. Before his passing, he placed large stones in the ground leading to my front door, rebuilt and added a gate to our fence, helped me place my handprint in concrete and much more. For me, this is remembrance.

    Reach out for help. As strong as you may be, you cannot always face things alone. Confining your feelings in someone you trust can be a constructive way to release emotions and get support.

    Your grieving process will not be the same as your peers. You may experience feelings of denial, shock, anger, depression etc. but your community could be dealing with something completely different. This is normal.

    Look on the bright side. This may sound completely contradictory and confusing but it could make loss somewhat easier to face. Phrases such as “They’re in a better place.”, “They no longer have to suffer.” or “They inspired people.” display positivity and can help uplift difficult emotions.

    Coping is difficult and different for everyone. Be patient. Grief doesn’t have a deadline. Understand that everything you’re feeling, or not, is completely valid and important. It is okay to reach out for help, and very understandable. The departed are always with you, as long as you remember them. Time will pass and things will become easier.
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