Nothing can fully prepare you for the emotions you may feel after a loved one dies. You might feel confusion, longing, anxiety, anger, sorrow, and even physical pain. We need to remember that a grieving person is going to laugh again and smile again, they’re going to move forward. But that doesn’t mean that they’ve moved on.

Learning to live without your loved one takes time. That’s why All Care offers grief support for 13 months after the loss of a loved one in hospice care. Even if you don’t want to use our program right away, you can contact us at any time during the 13-month period. All Care’s bereavement counselor is available to you and other family members by calling 781-244-1198 or emailing bereavement@allcare.org.

Do We Move On or Move Forward From Grief?

By Mark Busch | Based on Ted Talk by Nora McInerny

Grief is not a moment in time.

Following the loss of a loved one, it’s important to remember the grieving process has no set timeline. We don’t just grieve the moment they pass and move on. Instead, we grieve the past and present. We grieve what could have been the future. This is because our loved one is more than just one moment in time.

Every person experiences grief in his or her own way. And while there is no right or wrong way to grieve your loss, there are health ways to cope, including:

  • Accept that grief can trigger unexpected feelings, including anger and denial.
  • Understand that the grieving process will be unique to you and your situation.
  • Seek out support from trusted family members, friends and professional support groups.
  • Support yourself emotionally by taking care of yourself physically.
  • You can’t rush your grief, so allow yourself as much time as you need to process your feelings surrounding the loss.

You can be happy and sad.

Attempting to face joy after the loss of a loved one is complicated. Whether the loss comes expectedly or unexpectedly, it has the power to disrupt our lives, leaving us numb.

While one day you feel happy, other days you may feel sad. With each new day, allow yourself to embrace the stages of grief as they come, rather than avoiding them altogether.

In doing so, we gradually learn how to live with loss in our hearts. That doesn’t mean we forget about our loved ones, we just learn how to go on living without their physical presence.

And while you can never replace the absence left by someone you loved and cared for, you can fill your life with purpose in his or her honor to help you feel happy again.

Not all wounds are meant to heal.

Have you heard the phrase, “Time heals all wounds.” Some people believe this phrase is a catchall for grief‚ that in time, the anger, depression, guilt, or regret will just go away.

This is simply not true. The point here is that not all wounds are meant to heal with time.

It hurts to lose someone we love. That loss shapes and defines who we are, and it never really goes away. Instead, we carry it with us as we move forward into the next chapter of our lives, and what helps us heal is what we do with our time after they’ve passed.

Whether it is finishing a project your loved one was working on or volunteering at their favorite charity, there are ways to fill up your time that can help you cope.

To view the full Ted Talk, click here.

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