How to Overcome the Death of a Loved One

4 steps to healing from the grief of losing someone close to you

Losing a loved one can be a highly charged and very traumatic time. Though coping with loss can be a deeply personal experience, there are a few basic and universal steps to the bereavement and grief process. Knowing these steps can help you to work through your grief over the loss of a loved one.

Step 1: Allow the feelings

Coping with the loss of a loved one brings up almost every emotion imaginable. There are times when more than one emotion seems to take hold at once, and you may feel as if you're “going crazy.” It's natural to feel this way, as it's normal to experience a number of different feelings.

Gently remind yourself in your time of bereavement and grief that your feelings are yours, and they are well within the norm. It's important to your process to understand that there is no "right" or "wrong" when it comes to your feelings about losing a loved one.

Step 2: Gather support

While there may be times as you are coping with loss when you'll wish to be alone, it's important to gather a support group around you for those times when you might need them. Friends, family, a Minister or Rabbi and perhaps even a therapist are all people who can and should be accessed during your grief process. These individuals can be accessed for emotional support as well as physical needs, if required. The death of a loved one often leaves a large hole in the life of the survivor that can be, at least temporarily, occupied by a support team.

Step 3: Allow the grieving process

Bereavement and grief is a process. It's important to know that every person has their own way of coping with loss. You cannot put a time limit on your grief. You must allow yourself to experience the stages of grief as they come up.

Author Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, in her book, On Death and Dying, outlined five stages of grief. Each stage is unique and is not necessarily experienced in order. Stages may also be revisited. These stages are:

  • Denial: Your experience is incomprehensible, initially. You find it impossible to believe the loss of your loved one is real, and you may be numb from the experience.
  • Anger: As the truth of the situation begins to take hold, it's normal to feel anger and rage. This anger may be directed at yourself, the loved one for leaving you, doctors for not healing your loved one or even at God.
  • Bargaining: It's not unusual for survivors to cope with loss by trying to negotiate, usually with their Higher Power. Don't be surprised if you find yourself trying to make an “if only” deal with God.
  • Depression: The overwhelming sadness you feel is normal, and in most cases will not last forever. It's common to feel as if life will never be the same.
  • Acceptance: While this final stage of bereavement and grief is called “acceptance,” this refers to coming to terms with the finality of the loss and moving forward with your life. It does not mean that, from time to time, you may not revisit some of the stages listed above, but rather that the pain of your loss will become more manageable.

Step 4: Embrace life

Author David K. Switzer talks about the need to rediscover one’s own life in his book Dynamics of Grief: Its Source, Pain, and Healing. While the pain of your loss is real and must be felt, there will come a time when you must begin to live your own life again. By working through overcoming the death of a loved one, you will come to a place of accepting the death as a reality. You will find yourself able to move forward and embrace your life without your loved one by your side.

Your process through bereavement and grief are your own. Everyone responds differently to coping with loss. Above all, be kind to yourself and know that you will wake one day and find the pain is less, and life can go on.

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Comments

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I have lost my only son the first born child I had ,I blame myselfforhisdeathi wish I wasthere in heaven with him life hurts all I have left is my big brother to help me thru this now

Anonymous
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I can't imagine the pain you're going through. I am so sorry and I really hope that you will be ok. Thinking of you:) x

Anonymous
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Just imagine him smiling and telling you it's not your fault. Hug him. Kiss him. Let him tell you he's all right with God and is happy. He is no longer in pain, and no suffering. Be glad that he is at peace and remember he still loves you unconditionally.

Anonymous
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I lost my mom last year december i cnt even cope i mis her a lot,i lose my drops evyday.

Anonymous
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Indeed it is painful. day in a night those thoughts linger of a lost loved ones and wish you were with them. i grieve everyday over the loss of my mother. died in my presence when i could not do anything makes me feel helpless and worth less. Pray in the Lord for comfort

Anonymous
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This is months ahead but I want to say that may your son rest in peace

Anonymous
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I lost my lovely Mom barely a year now, d memories we shared still lingers in my heart, just recently I lost my beloved elder brother to d cold hands of sudden death, my heart is broken, I can't emerging my self living without d two most important people in my life. I cry day in day out, feeling crazy. How do I cope? My wife doesn't even understand what I'm passing through right now & it hurts me the more, life is no longer worth living to me again.

Kelsy.
kelneny@yahoo.com

Anonymous
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i am so sorry

Anonymous
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I lost my dad last September. I didn't get a chance to say bye. I am having a hard time dealing with it. There is not a day that goes by that I don't shed a tear..I love and miss him so much.

Anonymous
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I lost my grandma 3 years ago
My Greatgrandma 2 years ago
My aunt 5 months ago
And my grandpa a couple of weeks ago
It's been rough to deal with
When do I start to feel better

Anonymous
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Same here. I lost my mom last december as well, and i still cry everyday.

Anonymous
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I lost my Mom 3/26/2015 I'm still no where near to moving on. I know she's never coming back, and I do get signs, but it's not the same. I miss her so much, I'm back to crying myself to sleep. I feel so orphaned...and I'm an adult...though I don't much deal like one.

Anonymous
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I lost my mum 3 weeks ago and I seem to be stuck I can't move on.I can't even go to work

Anonymous
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I have lost my dearest grandpa, but can't control myself, don't know even if I can overcome

Anonymous
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I lost my husband of 40 years two weeks ago. I am having a very ,very tough time dealing with the situation. I have a therapist, great friends, and wonderful children. Still-i feel a tremendous burden of heaviness and sadness. I feel alone and cannot stop crying. I hope and pray this feeling of sadness lessens, for I cannot see living with it. Ir is just brutal.

Anonymous
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my mom died when I was 4 my dog died 1 month 6 days after his 5 birthday and 1 month 7 after my birthday and I predicted their death and it happened on the that day my dog was abused in his past. I'm only 10 and I have to deal with this crap I was hoping it wouldn't happen until I was really really old.

Anonymous
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i lost my grandpa 5 days ago and im still crying everyday

Anonymous
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when there is love in this world their will always be hatred in this world

Anonymous
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My girlfriend for the past six years was in an auto accident, and now I feel so alone. I miss her so much. I never thought I would see the day of a life without her. Danela were are you?

Anonymous
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I lost my brother 2 years ago. He wasn't only my brother but he was also my bestfriend. Till this day I find it completely surprising that he died so young. I miss him a lot and I can't get over his death.

Anonymous
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Same here. I lost my beloved mom a week ago. I miss her a lot, and I can't imaging myself living without her. Every day I pray to Buddha to give me courage to live in sake of my family.

Anonymous
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Im so sorry for you m8! :(

Anonymous
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I lost my grandma 2 years ago a month after her birthday and i cried for 4 weeks strait.
I lost my grandpa 1 year ago and I cried for 2 weeks strait.
They both died of cancer and I can't get over it.whar am I suppose to do. I didn't get to say good bye to any of them I an still crying myself to sleep every night.

Anonymous
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I lost my mom last october 2015 its painful I bury my head in work. But her memory always linger she was my everything. everything I look at reminds me of her. Her smile her laugh her endless stories. I just miss her so much. I grieve everyday and when I pass near graves I just stand there and imagine how peaceful she is down there. She was in so much pain when she died and I blamed myself for that. I miss her each day. I pray for her. there was this several times when I prayed for God to open the gates of heaven for her. I believe she is an angel in the sky

Anonymous
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Lost my dearest uncle 5 years ago at 36 and my loving grandfather last decemeber the pain is horrible imcrying to this moment i do everyday over the both of them they were father and son :'(

Anonymous
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I too just lost my husband "suddenly" on May 5,2016. We were married for 40 years, 41 years in June and was the love of my life. Although I have the support of my adult children, the loss is overwhelming at times, and I have entered the pit of despair. I feel I will never stop feeling like this, for I agree it is brutal. I pray in time this overwhelming feeling I am living with will lessen, and just want you to know your not alone in this extremely difficult time of life!

Anonymous
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My wife died on feb9 2016 and a big part of me died too.We had been together for forty years and I miss her so .I would do anything to be with her but my time is not yet so have to carry on and try and make new start.I cry every day no control over it how long if ever does it take to manage it.

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I got married last year (February 2015), 1 month later I lost my beloved sister,and while I was still trying to cope with this loss, my wife, who was already sick become to get worst, and after very long struggle, we did not succeed, she has passed away last week... could some one please say this is normal or help me to overcome, because I am feeling devastated...

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

My great nan died a few weeks ago and I still can't believe she's gone. Each day I regret not visiting her very often as her care home was 15 minutes drive and I can't drive. My mum would say to me she is going to visit her but I would never go. I was always like oh I'll see her in a few weeks. But I haven't seen her since February and now she's dead. It hit me like a train, but I think I'm starting to feel better. She died the week before the 10th anniversary of my great grandad's (her husband) death. At least now they're together.

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I too lost my much loved elder brother who was a source of inspiration and guidance to me..its about 2 months and i still cry...though i am doctor by profession it truely hurts when you lost the loved ones!!my mom still could not stop crying...i feel shattered when i think of all this!!

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I Lost My Brother Just Yesterday In A Motercycle Accident. I Feel The Pain Of Losing Him. While I Am Sad I Am Also Trying To Be Happy Of His Enterance Of Another Life. While I'm Crying I'm Also Laughing. His Memory Will Always Be With Me.

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I lost my Great Grandmother on Sunday and it is Monday, I feel like I will never overcome this, I've cried all night and woke up at 1:30 a.m and did not go back to sleep, I don't want to belive it but the more I think about it, the more I relize I wont get to see her again, I need help overcoming this but I don't know where to start, and I'm only 11, please help... :*(

Anonymous
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I lost my beloved brother in November 2011, from then i lost weight because of depression but the later in 2014 I started feeling like I'm accepting but then everytime I think of him I start crying and feeling all emotional and moody all day long..it never ends nomatter the time has passed

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I lost my younger brother exactly the day you post your comments here. A month have pased and the pain still lingers. I am deeply traumatized with his passing. Words cannot express the pain that we are going thru.. Oh God help us. We missed our brother.

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I lost my wife she died Friday three days ago and I don't know how to deal with this. She has had bad health problems for a while now but I just didn't realize that we were so close to her death and it hurts very bad because I just don't know how I am going to go on with out her in my life anymore.I sit here all alone and no matter where I go I remember when we were there together and it hurts. I only have my wife's niece and my dad to talk to about this and it seems that no matter what is said it just won't stop this torture I am feeling. I have lost a lot of loved ones in the past but none of them hurt as bad as losing my wife Sandra. She meant the world to me and now my world has ended. If anyone can help me with this please help me.

Anonymous
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I lost my dad father and my mom father and I rember tthe good days with them they were there when I was born. When I was 9 my dad father passed away.

Aya

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

God bless whomever put this site/page up. I loss my Mom suddenly in 2014. It was like my whole world collapsed. The pain was unimaginable. But little by little, I began to live again. And I feel like my Mom is with me wherever I go, loving and guiding me from Heaven. Have faith and courage. There will be dark dark hours...but the light will always shine again.

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

lost my brother on june the first,iam still trying to get my head around the idea that he wont b back miss him dearly,But he is in God arms and one day we all b together again Trust in the Lord draw strength from him read his word and you will find the answers . and rember to pray pray get your minister to pray with u no matter what happen death is not the End it is the Begingning.Trust not yourselves Trust in God word I am a beliver in Jesus, yoou know God gives what we need in life he just needed your love one as Angels to guide you until he come back to this Earth.rember to because this not End it the Beginning of a new life and we all be with him.in that great getting up morning.B Bless.

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Me too, I lost my beloved Sister on May 10, 2016, we were best buddies, She have many hopes and dreams in life, she graduated bachelors degree last year and she passed job interviews and waiting for her first job, We both have dreams to help our parents, we were just two siblings, I'm her brother, she knows my personality and I know her too, we were like best friends, She is my inspirations and courage and my mom, I don't know where to start , How can i relieve this pain? it's like there's a piece in my heart that broke apart, I really love her, there are times i think i should be the one that should had taken not her, :(

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I am a 16 year old who has experienced so much death throughout my life that it bothers me every day. During a short period in my childhood, my entire family died mostly due to diseases such as cancer. All my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins died. The most painful death was the death of my last grandmother in 2013. This death really affected me because we were so close. She passed due to dementia. A couple weeks before she was put in hospice, I had a dream that she was going to die in a dark hospital room. It haunted me. Those two weeks were the most horrific days of my life. I couldn't eat, sleep, and I felt so powerless. I didn't talk to anyone and didn't do anything but stay in my room and stare at the ceiling. When she finally passed I didn't feel anything. At her burial I barely cried; I have no idea why. I haven't cried ever since. No matter what happens, good or bad, I can't cry. I haven't been the same ever since her passing. And I cannot think of the fact that one day my parents will pass. What can I do to get rid of this feeling about death and move on with my life?

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

What you can do to cope is KNOW he/she is walking hand in hand with yhe Lotd.Also those loved ones of theirs who have gone b4 them, pets too will b there wagging & excited to see them. My Faith is the ONLY thing that gets me they. Hearing little whispered advice & sentiments from them out of the blue. Listen to them, heed them, pay them homage. It will lessen to the point your loving memories will sustain u & keep u in sprouts L contact with them. Love conquers all even in death, especially in death

God Hold You & Keep You Each of You,
Debi Moore

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I am sorry for the loss of your beloved husband. The loss is so new, and the pain is so great, it is no wonder why you are having a very tough time. My husband died 16 months ago, and I so appreciate what you may be dealing with. I say "may" because we all grieve differently and for different periods of time in different ways. What is common to all of us, I believe, is that we hurt, we are sad, lonely, and have a hard time, especially in the beginning.
Please take good care of yourself as you travel this journey. The pain will lessen, and you will always have a very special place in your heart and life for your husband. Be patient, and trust that things will get better. Blessings to you.
A fellow widow

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I am sorry for the loss of your beloved husband. The loss is so new, and the pain is so great, it is no wonder why you are having a very tough time. My husband died 16 months ago, and I so appreciate what you may be dealing with. I say "may" because we all grieve differently and for different periods of time in different ways. What is common to all of us, I believe, is that we hurt, we are sad, lonely, and have a hard time, especially in the beginning.
Please take good care of yourself as you travel this journey. The pain will lessen, and you will always have a very special place in your heart and life for your husband. Be patient, and trust that things will get better. Blessings to you.
A fellow widow

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I lost my boyfriend in an accident and I did not get to say goodbye.. I can't talk about him out loud without crying. I wish I could go back and tell him everything I ever wanted to say and tell him I'm sorry.. I constantly feel like he's going to text me any minute..

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