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The Northerner

How to cope when a loved one dies


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Webster’s Dictionary defines grief as “deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement.” Yet, even though the definition of it puts grief into a black and white perspective, dealing with the death of a loved one, whether it’s a family member, a friend, a pet, is never easy. People experience many emotions during a time of loss. These include:

* Denial * Disbelief * Confusion * Shock * Sadness * Yearning for the loved one * Anger * Humilation * Despair * Guilt

The Healthy Place Web site informs that these emotions are typical, and the process for mourning may take longer than expected. However, should you grieve for the loss of a loved one, the web site offers advice on coping.

* Find people who care These people can be family members and friends, or people in a support group.

* Talk about your feelings Talking about your emotions can only make the loss easier,

* Stay healthy Be sure to watch your health regularly, eat right, and exercise, and your consumption of alcohol.

* Live your life Your loved one is gone. Don’t forget that you are alive and need to live.

* Seek professional help If the pain of your loss is too great, talk to a professional for assistance. Seeking help outside doesn’t mean that you are going crazy, it just signifies you need another shoulder to lean on.

* Grief can affect others not associated with the person who died. Friends can see the effects of a death on those around them. Should you be faced with a grieving friend, there are things you can do to ease their burden.

* Be an open ear Let your friend come to you and talk, even if it is for hours, your open ears help them stay focused on the emotions they are feeling instead of ignoring them.

* Don’t smother them with false words of comfort Being overly sympathetic, might push your friend away.

* Be patient Grief doesn’t have a specific time range. Everyone is different and the way they experience that pain is unique to them. Be receptive of their feelings and don’t pressure them to feel another way.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
How to cope when a loved one dies