How can I cope with the loss of someone I love?
My good childhood friend died suddenly as a teenager. I haven't seen him in four years and haven't talked to him in months yet somehow this hurts me more than I could ever imagine. It's been about three months since his passing, and I'm still not sure how to cope with this.
Grief is complicated. Healing from grief takes time. Three months is not very long when it comes to grief. Grief has no set time frame. It takes as long as it takes.
The hurt you feel is proof of how important it was for you to have your friend in your life. The hurt can be overwhelming. It can hurt both physically and emotionally. Hurting like this is normal. Allow yourself to feel.
Everyone grieves in their own way. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Whatever feels right to you is what's right. You can do whatever you want to honor and remember your friend.
Sometimes, when we lose someone we haven't seen recently, we have things we wish we would have told them. You can say or write those things now. Another option that my clients find helpful is to talk to others who knew them about those things. Sharing stories can also be helpful.
When we lose someone close to us, it leaves a "hole" in our life. A big part of grief recovery is learning to be yourself without that person physically present. One thing that can help is to think about the qualities you admired in them and find ways to incorporate those qualities into your life. It's a way to carry them forward with you and honor them.
Support is essential when you're going through grief. Let people who care about you know you're hurting. If support from friends and family doesn't seem to be enough, professional counseling can support you differently. A therapist can help get you through the rollercoaster-like experience of grief. A therapist trained in grief and loss can help you work through intense emotions and overcome any blocks keeping you from healing.
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Often people with extensive trauma have difficulty talking about it. This lessens the impact of traditional talk therapy and there benefits. There is a helpful therapy called EMDR that is limited in the amount of talking and also has quick benefits for the reduction of symptoms. For those who are in great distress you can also complete EMDR therapy every day if you would like/have the means. This can quicken the recovery time from these distressing life events.
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Death of someone with whom we had fond involvement, is sad. Accepting that a person is permanently gone from this earth, is unsettling and can feel painful.
That you had no current contact with this person doesn't exclude the meaning or feelings from within your relationship with this person. Relationships don't require a time measurement in order to affect us.
Your question acknowledges the process of adjusting to life without the chance to see or hear from this person again.
It is normal to grieve so be gentle and not critical of yourself when you feel yourself missing this person.
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I am truly sorry for your loss.
His passing has triggered some uneasy emotions. Do you know what these emotions are as you are trying to cope? Be aware, that "coping" is not processing. Coping means that the problem is always there, and you are "managing" rather than healing. And, as you know, that isn't working.
Emotional pain comes in waves, which can also cause physical symptoms of anxiety, frustration, and sadness. Rather than coping (avoiding) your feelings, give yourself time to process them. Invite your feelings in when you feel the wave of emotions. Focus on what is going on physically in your body with compassion and curiosity. This will begin your healing process to bring you a sense of peace.
Remember, emotions are messengers that help us develop insight into our psychological (and physiological) wellbeing.
Please contact me with any questions or more information.
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