Having to deal with the loss of a loved one is one of the most traumatic, emotional and heartbreaking things to happen in your life. Often when we are faced with loss it leaves us feeling alone and vulnerable and it many cases isolating ourselves to the people closest to us. In 1969 a psychiatrist named Elisabeth Kubler Ross came up with her theory on the five stages of grief. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. The most important thing to remember is that each and every emotion that you experience while grieving is totally normal no matter how alien it may feel. What's also important to remember is that no two people are the same. Never compare how you are grieving to someone else. Everyone deals with grief and loss in different ways.
For many people grief is like a rollercoaster of emotions with feelings of shock, anger, sadness and in many cases physical symptoms can also manifest from our grief. Many people experience nausea and weight loss while going through the grieving process. It's called a process for a reason, you don't suddenly wake up the next day to find your grief has gone and you are feeling yourself again. It is a long process with many steps to getting to a place of acceptance.
The number one thing you need when dealing with a loss of any kind is "Support". Don't lose your support network. Accept the support of people around you. Turn to family and close friends and don't isolate yourself. If you have your own faith you follow then use that to give you strength. If you think you would like a wider support network get in touch with local support groups. Contact your GP. There are so many different support outlets around you. Use them. Grief can be a lonely time but that doesn't mean you have to deal with it alone. Find someone you can trust who can take over any legal matters or paperwork. If you don't feel up to doing something, then don't do it. There may be issues to deal with surrounding the funeral arrangements, will disputes, children etc. Don't let arising problems set you back. Entrust your problems with someone and let them help you through it.
There is no set timescale for grief. It is normal to feel numb and empty following a loss and these feelings will take time to go away. They wont suddenly dissapear but gradually over time they will not be as overbearing and you will slowly start to accept your loss and start moving forward.. It doesn't matter how long it takes to come to terms with things what matters most is you take things one step at a time and at your own pace. If you do feel that things are not getting any better after time or your feelings seem to be getting worse then seek help/advice from your local GP.
Remember there are no right or wrong ways to deal with loss but there are many methods of support available to us to ensure we get the help we need through our grief and help us to move forward with our lives.
*This post is in collaboration with Redress Law