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"Nobody likes talking about death": Top strategies to cope with grief after loved one passes away


Losing someone we love is one of the hardest things life throws at us.

Everyone deals with grief ­differently. But there are things we can do to help ourselves – and family and friends.

Here, Amy Green, a bereavement supporter at charity Cruse Bereavement Care, offers her top coping strategies.

Grief is unique

Everyone deals with the death of a loved one differently.

There is no right or wrong way to go about it so do not be hard on yourself.

Sometimes grief can strike years after someone passes away.

At Cruse, we have quite a lot of clients who come to us ten years after a death because ­something may have triggered the feelings of grief again.

We will help no matter when the death occurred.

You think you will never get over it but you will. There is life without that person. You just have to find a ­different path.

Exercise can help boost your mood

Keep talking

Nobody likes talking about death but it is one of the best ways to deal with it.

So take time to let it sink in and talk to people. Do not keep feelings bottled up inside. Find somebody you feel ­comfortable with and let the feelings out.

Some people find it difficult to talk to other members of the family for fear of being judged.

If they had a different ­relationship with the person you have both lost, they cannot grasp how you are feeling. This is called ­disenfranchised grief. Other ­people says their life does not have any meaning because their loss is so significant to them.

If you feel like you are not coping, you might need to see your GP. Medication can help.

Talking to an organisation such as Cruse can be beneficial ­because we do not know ­circumstances, it is ­completely confidential and there is no ­judgment at all.

You have an outlet to express yourself without any fear it will get back to a family member. And it can be easier to speak to someone you do not know.

Stay active

It is probably the last thing you want to do but just getting out for a five-minute walk in the fresh air, to have time to yourself or with someone else, will release feel-good endorphins.

These give you a self-esteem boost. In times like this, it feels good to get that boost. In fact, if your body is not getting what it needs, you will feel worse.

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Try to avoid the booze

Watch the booze

Try to drink sensibly. A lot of people turn to alcohol when things are not going right but it is a very short-term solution.

It might feel better at the time but when it wears off, you are going to feel worse.

So if you want to have a drink, do it in moderation.

Get through key dates

Until anniversaries come around, you do not know how you are going to cope with them.

They can be easier than you thought or a whole lot harder. Reminders can also include a piece of music or the smell of a favourite perfume.

How you remember a date is completely up to you, again, there is no right or wrong.

But it does get easier. As time passes, you might be able to focus on happy memories and good times shared.

■ To contact Cruse, call the ­national ­helpline on 0808 808 1677 or visit cruse.org.uk.



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