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Coping with Grief and Loss

Losing someone close to you is life-changing and overwhelming. These tips are here to help you cope as your process your grief.

Don't bottle up your feelings — losing someone is one of the hardest things you might experience, and it's important to talk about it. Even if people can't understand your loss, it's good to get your feelings off your chest.

Death is only one reason for grief. Any loss can lead to grief whether it's ending a friendship, moving away, changing schools, etc. It depends what's important to you. Those losses are significant and life changing!

Remember that everyone deals with grief differently. There is no right way to grieve, do what works for you.

Don't put off the grieving process by using unhealthy coping methods to try to forget your pain. It is important to accept and face your grief. If you don't, it will build up and be harder to deal with in the future.

Sometimes people feel relief when someone passes away, especially if they were sick for a long time or if they had a complicated relationship. It's OK to feel relieved, many people experience this and you are not alone. It doesn't make you a bad person.

Know that anger, anxiety, numbness, helplessness and sadness are all normal reactions to loss. Accept these feelings — they will pass.

Losing someone or something important to you is difficult. You might never fully "get over" your loss, but it will get easier and you will adjust to life without that person/thing.

Try to keep your routine when you are going through grief. It will be a healthy distraction and help you feel better in the day to day. 

Everyone grieves at their own pace. Don't feel bad if you are struggling longer than you feel you should. Give yourself the time you need.

If you don't feel comfortable going to counselling, there are other ways to heal. You could write a letter to the person you lost or volunteer with a cause that was important to that person. Remember, if it gets too overwhelming, counselling might help!

Ignore people who tell you how you are supposed to feel and let other people feel what they need to. Everyone grieves differently.

There will be constant reminders of your loss like when it's time for holidays, specific places and anniversaries. Try to make lists of happier memories with that person, look at pictures and give yourself permission to feel down on those days.

Helping others helps us feel better. Find some way to give back to your community by checking out this great resource

Holidays can be hard after you've lost someone/something. Try starting a new tradition. Go to a new place, eat different food, do different activities. Distract yourself from your pain (which is ok) and help yourself chart a new course.

Sometimes it feels like no one can understand what you're going through. If you don't feel ready to talk about your loss with other people, try journaling. It will help you feel a sense of release.

Grief can overwhelm us. Make sure to remember the good things about that person. One way to do this is to eat their favourite foods, either on anniversaries or when you need to feel close to them.

Humor is a powerful force. Give yourself permission to laugh and be happy, your loved one would want you to. Spend an afternoon watching your favourite funny TV show.

Grief can be numbing. Try to get out and be active with exercise or going for a walk in nature. Physical health nurtures your mental health.

Start a new hobby and try to become an expert at it! It will distract you from your loss while developing new skills and feeling pride in a new activity.

Write stories with aspects of your loved one sprinkled throughout. This representation keeps their memory alive even if they aren't physically present.

Set a manageable goal for yourself. This will lead to a change in routine and will give you something else to think about besides your loss. Taking care of yourself is very important during this time.

Find people who have also experienced a loss. You could do this through a support group or check out The Dinner Party

Try living your life the way your loved one would have wanted you to. Grief will be constantly evolving as time passes. Do your best!

Go for a hike and notice all the beauty around you. Green therapy has been said to benefit people in amazing ways.

Take it one day at a time. Losing someone/something you love changes your whole life. Be patient with yourself while you adjust.

Listen to music that reminds you of your loved one. Try to remind yourself of the good memories.

Celebrate your loved one. If you like to bake, make a cake in memory of that person and donate it. Or do a park clean up in memory of that person. It's open to whatever you like to do and whatever you think they would appreciate.

Looking for some helpful online resources? Check out Hello Grief and What's Your Grief.  

Trying an alternative form of therapy is ok if you are feeling stuck. Equine therapy and art therapy have amazing benefits for some people. Read more by checking out these links. 

"Have you thought of booking a therapy appointment? Discussing your loss with someone on the outside might give you some helpful ideas on how to cope in your day to day life.

Losing someone you love is really sad and scary. What makes it even worse is that your friends may not understand. Other teens who have experienced a loss. You are not alone!