Simple Tips for Healthy Grieving by Teresa Greenhill

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Losing a loved one to suicide is devastating. While any kind of grief is difficult to bear, grieving the loss of someone who took their own life can come with another level of pain. Along with asking yourself “why?” repeatedly, some people may feel uncomfortable reaching out to you or show less sympathy for a “self-inflicted” death. If you are denied comfort, it can lead to severe loneliness.

That said, the shock, confusion, and anguish don’t have to consume you. You can begin taking practical steps today to process your grief the healthy way. The Gift of Second has provided a few tips below. 

 

Stay Connected With Loved Ones      

The last thing you want to do while grieving your loved one is isolate yourself. Look for opportunities to connect with friends and family members, whether by meeting in person, talking over the phone, video chatting, or any other method. Talk openly and honestly with people you trust; along with providing you with an outlet to express yourself, you may find out that others feel and think a lot of the same things you do about the situation.

 

Keep a Journal 

Maybe you’re not quite ready to talk about your thoughts and feelings with other people. If that is the case, invest in a journal and write in it each day. You can write about anything, from your thoughts and feelings to things you are experiencing to events of the day. You can even write a letter to your loved one, which could allow you to say some of the things you are never able to.

 

Take a Short Trip     

Sometimes, getting out of town is an excellent way to step away from the day-to-day and regain perspective. Plan a weekend where you can go to a new place, recharge, and revitalize your wellbeing. When researching destinations, consider any attractions or activities you are interested in. 

For example, if you are traveling to Los Angeles, you might enjoy going to a Dodgers game. Using sites like TickPick can help you quickly find discounted tickets. You can even filter your events by seats, price range, and date. And if you want an even more in-depth experience, use the interactive seating chart for Dodger Stadium.

 

Add Light to Your Life   

Vitamin D is crucial for our health and wellbeing, and sunshine is the most reliable source of vitamin D. When you are grieving and experiencing distress, you must spend time outdoors, whether that means going for walks, doing backyard workouts, or sitting on your patio. Also, find ways to let more natural light into your home; opening the blinds during the day is a great way to start.

 

Maintain Healthy Habits

Lastly, take care of yourself. Try to maintain a balanced diet that will give you energy throughout the day and benefit your long-term health. Find a physical activity that helps you de-stress and that you can do at least four days a week. And shoot for at least seven hours of sleep per night. This might require you to shift your bedtime routine and find relaxing activities to do in the evening, but it will be worth it because sleep is essential for maintaining your mental wellbeing.

 

Conclusion

There is no easy way to grieve when you have lost a loved one to suicide. But you don’t have to let the devastation, shock, and confusion rule your life long-term. 

 

5 Responses

  1. Teresa Edwards
    | Reply

    Thank you for this reminder this morning…I needed it. It will soon be 3 yrs. since my husband committed suicide but I still have a difficult, time, it comes and goes. All your suggestions have been helpful to me. Just recently I have come to accept this is a lifelong process I will have to live with and that it doesn’t go away or get easier.

  2. Teri Stis
    | Reply

    Thank you for this reminder this morning…I needed it. It will soon be 3 yrs. since my husband committed suicide but I still have a difficult, time, it comes and goes. All your suggestions have been helpful to me. Just recently I have come to accept this is a lifelong process I will have to live with and that it doesn’t go away or get easier.

  3. Darlene T
    | Reply

    Thank you. Some tips are helpful, others not so much. Our son took his life 3 years ago March 4. I’m an introvert, so getting out was the last thing I wanted to do.
    I thought I was doing ok, but then I cared for my sister when she was in in-home hospice care. She died on January 23 of this year. My grieving has begun again…for my sister and our son.

  4. Robbie West
    | Reply

    It’s been a little over 3 years since I lost my husband, Marty, to suicide by cop. I continue to see my therapist monthly and I’ve become quite involved volunteering with our Survivors of Suicide Loss Peer-Support Grief Group and becoming a volunteer for our local LOSS Team. I also have kept a grief journal the last 3 years which has really helped with difficult days. I’m beginning to adjust to my life without my husband….I’m not happy about it, but I’m doing it with the love of my daughters, son-in-laws, grandsons, and my amazing friends being right beside me. I’m learning to not let my grief be all consuming, which does provide some relief.

    • brandylidbeck
      | Reply

      Robbie! It’s so great to hear from you! I have thought of you often. I am glad you are involved as I know it is not only helpful to the new survivors but also in our own grief journeys as well. Take care!

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