Chapter 3: Suggestions to Help
Other ideas for getting started
It's been important for me to seek help and find a healthy way to talk about it. I needed to shift to a place of self-forgiveness and self-love.
Below are some ideas and suggestions to explore if you suspect you are experiencing prolonged grief. Click each category to read more.
- Visit your family physician to rule out any health problems that are unrelated to your grief.
- Contact local professional associations or mental health organizations to find psychologists, social workers, or counsellors with training and expertise in the assessment and treatment of prolonged grief.
- Consider letting close friends or family know if you are concerned about your grief. Ask them what they have noticed about you since your loss and about how your grief is progressing.
- Develop new ways to manage intense emotions, such as meditation, mindfulness, or relaxation techniques. Sometimes simply changing your activity or environment can help: Consider going for a walk, exercising, or listening to music.
- Practice self-compassion. The next time you feel frustrated, disappointed, or angry with yourself, try to treat yourself as you would someone you care for. You might also try to simply observe your thoughts and feelings, without judgement.
- If you have been avoiding thoughts, feelings, and reminders of your loss, begin to gently explore them. Ask a trusted friend to listen to your stories about the person who died, the death, and also your grief.
- Talking about the person who died can help you to form a healthy continuing bond with them, integrate your loss, and shift towards rebuilding your life.
- If you have no one you can share with, consider contacting your local hospice program to ask about bereavement support groups. Try to speak with the group facilitator first to see if a group will be a good fit for you.
- Recall and share memories of the person who died. Look at photos; think about times that you shared and ways that the person influenced or changed you. What were their best - or challenging - qualities? Use a journal or an app to record your memories.
- Allow yourself to rediscover joy and purpose through meaningful activities and relationships. Volunteer with an organization that you care about. Donate your time and energy to causes that feel worthwhile. Get to know other people through shared activities, such as exercise or educational classes.