Help with grief and mourning

Grief is a difficult time that we all have to face once in our life. Here are some tips to make the process less difficult.

Last October, my dad passed away suddenly due to a lungs hemorrhage. I didn’t have time to say goodbye, he was gone. At the beginning of my first year of university, my biggest problem went from worrying about hangovers to dealer with a pain that was way stronger than me.

The loss of a loved one is always hard. The pain is so intense and there’s nothing to do to stop hurting. We can remember the good memories and tell ourselves that our loved one would not want us to spend our life being sad, there’s no miracle cure.

So I decided to write an article to help people who are going through, or will go through, as similar situation. Here is some important information to make this really difficult time a little bit more tolerable:

1. Understand that most people won’t understand what we’re going through

Despite their good intentions, most people in our lives won’t truly understand the pain we feel. So they might give bad advices on what to do or even make you feel worse. I know they only wanted to help, but when my dad passed away, I could not stand hearing things like: « Your dad loved you so much » or « Your dad was always talking about you! ». It’s supposed to be comforting, but for me it was the complete opposite.

2. Don’t be afraid to be selfish

The period of grief is already really hard, don’t make it harder by wanting to please others. Think of yourself first. If you don’t want to see anybody, say it. If they’re conversations you don’t want to have about your grief, say it. If you don’t want to step outside your house for a while, say it. Even if the death of your loved one was a while ago, you will feel down a lot. Don’t be afraid to impose your limits.

3. Understand that the sadness will always be there, you just have to deal with it

It’s been almost a year since my dad passed away and the pain is still a big part of my life. It’s not overwhelming 24/7 like it used to be but sometimes it’s still shattering. We just have to give ourselves time to heal. They’re still a lot of days when I don’t want to see anybody or go outside and I think that’s perfectly fine. The only important thing is to see progress being made and accept that the process will be slow.

4. Don’t stop doing things you love

During the grief, it’s easy to drop everything that we used to love to do, either because it brings back hard memories or because of a lack of motivation. Taking your mind off your pain is super important in this situation and those activities are a great way to continue to see your friends and have moral support.

5. Don’t be afraid to be a burden and talk about your grief

The first months after it happened, I didn’t want to see my friends because I was scared to be too emotionally draining and that my friends wouldn’t want to spend time with me. I also refused to talk about what happened and how I felt because it’s a really heavy subject and I felt like nobody was comfortable enough with this discussion. After a while I finally understood that my friends we there for me and the only thing the wanted was for me to talk to them about how I felt so they could help me. I remember the first time I talked to my friends about it, we were sitting on a balcony and in a word vomit I explained everything that had happened and how I was feeling, a couple of months after the funeral. It felt so good to finally talk about it with someone and my friends were happy to know that I could share my emotions with them so they could listen and try to help me.

What’s important to remember is that grieving is not easy but there’s some ways to make it a little bit less hard. We just have to think about ourselves and accept our emotions. No matter how we feel, life goes on and we have to continue to hold on. It’s hard to stay positive sometimes but there’s some tricks that can help.

Fanny has always been fascinated by the world of medias and writing. That’s exactly why she studied journalism in cegep and is now studying digital medias at UQAM. In addition to loving Disney movies and Christmas music too much, she’s a little bit of a geek.

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