Going Back to Our Lives While Grieving
It’s a common misconception that our lives go back to normal after the funeral of a friend or loved one, and that we have completed the grieving process once we leave the memorial service.
While the memorial service is an essential part of closure and community, grieving can often last for months, and sometimes years, after we have said goodbye to a person in physical form.
Though the grieving process looks and feels different for everyone, there are certain steps we can take, and points to think about, that might make the process a bit easier.
Points to Consider During This Period
- This is a natural process and an inevitable part of life.
Grieving the loss of our loved ones is something that every person on the Earth, just like you, must go through, at least during some part of their lives.
We must all say goodbye to someone we love, which means that many people have experienced what you are feeling right now. They have already processed their grief, and they might have valuable advice for you to be able to do so as well.
- The person you love would want you to keep moving forward.
It might be tempting to put your life on hold until you feel better, which is exactly the opposite of what helps us move forward through the grieving period. We must continue moving to process our grief in a dynamic way so that it does not pull us down into a place of permanent sadness.
If the person you have recently lost were with you today, would they feel better or worse, knowing that their absence had caused you to abandon your life and goals?
- Not everyone will feel the same way that you do, and that’s okay.
You may find yourself getting frustrated with family members or friends that you feel are not having as difficult of a time as you in the grieving process. But just as we are different in other aspects of our lives, all of us grieve differently, too.
If you feel that you’re not receiving the support you need from your family or friends, or you simply cannot relate to the way that they are feeling, you might want to consider speaking to a licensed professional.
Ideas for Guiding Yourself Through the Grieving Process
- Be gentle with yourself.
While it’s much better to continue your routines as normally as possible, keep in mind that there might be days during which you simply don’t feel like doing anything, or at the very least, what you would normally do.
Allow yourself to rest, and give yourself an occasional day-off from your responsibilities, if you can. As long as you’re making an honest effort to move forward, and your active days outnumber your resting days, you are making progress.
- Keep a journal.
Writing your feelings down is an excellent way to not only make sense of how you feel, but also to watch your progress over time.
Though today you might not feel like you are moving past your initial grief, if you have developed the habit of writing in your journal, you can go back and see that you have actually made quite a bit of progress.
You are becoming stronger, for yourself and for the ones you love.
As you move forward through the process of grieving, you are setting an example for those who might be having a more difficult time than you.
See how you can create conversations around the memory of your loved one and help those around you—you’ll see how you help yourself in the meantime.
Allowing for the Grace of Time
While it may seem at this moment that things will never feel normal again, as the famous saying goes, “time heals all wounds”. You might find that one day that, while you still miss the person to whom you said goodbye at their memorial service, you are now able to go about your normal routines.
It doesn’t mean that you have forgotten about your loved one; it simply means that you have gone on living, just as they would want you to.
So set aside a moment of remembrance to thank that special person for all of the love they brought to your life. At the same time, don’t forget to take pride in yourself for being a brave, strong, and compassionate individual who has come out the other side of a difficult period in their life.
And remember, we here at Vay-Schleich & Meeson are proud to lend a helping hand and a listening ear, whenever you may need it.