In the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused grief to soar all across the globe. By now, practically everyone knows someone who has suffered a loss due to the virus. On top of that, deaths from other causes continue unabated, leaving the world reeling from the losses.
Once it hits, the grief never truly disappears either, it just gets quieter and hits less frequently through most days. All that grief can take a toll on the collective health of the global population, especially when people don’t know how to handle it.
Expect a Unique Journey All Your Own
No matter who you’ve lost, your journey through the grief won’t look like anyone else’s. You’ll grieve on your own timeline and in your own way, likely with many setbacks along the way. And that is totally normal.
Don’t let anyone’s comments on how long you grieve or what ways you choose to feel the loss change how you approach the process. You have to honor the way you feel and use your own coping skills to get through the pain, especially in the early days.
But Remember, You’re Not Alone
Although your journey through the grieving process is all your own, Eterneva points to a study by Amerispeak and WebMD that shows that you’re definitely not alone.
In that 2019 study, they found that nearly 60% of people in the United States alone are currently grieving a loss that occurred in the last three years. As we’re now in 2020, that number is likely much higher due to the global pandemic, spikes in suicide rates, and the overload of the healthcare system.
While you undoubtedly don’t want anyone to ever feel the acute feelings of loss you are experiencing, it’s inevitable that they do. Everyone will lose important people from time to time —and it’s vital that we all remember we’re in this together.
Prepare for a Difficult Year of Firsts
Immediately after suffering a loss, it’s common to feel numb to the reality of the situation. That numbness soon wears off, however, leaving you exposed to all the firsts to come.
The first dinner without your loved one. The first holiday apart. The first time you’ve laughed again since the loss. All those firsts hurt big time. They leave your soul feeling singed and battered, but it’s important to get through them. That way, you can rebuild your life and create a meaningful path forward.
Grief Doesn’t Stop at the End of the Year
Even after getting through a full year of firsts, the grief doesn’t switch off like a light switch. Instead, it sticks around, ready to pounce as reminders of your loved one come into view.
You might just be watching a movie when something reminds you of them and you’re grieving like it’s day one all over again. Time can temper the severity of your grief, but it’s not likely to go away altogether. In fact, most people still feel their grief acutely three years later.
Keep your head up though, because memories of the good times will eventually bring a smile and a laugh through the tears. Then, you might grow strong enough to share your memories with the people around you, keeping your loved one alive in their hearts as well as yours.
Emotional Turmoil Can Damage Your Health
When you’re in the thick of it, the grief you feel can manifest as physical symptoms and impact your mental health. Up to 65% of people have at least one physical health problem that occurs after losing their loved one. You might experience headaches, heart palpitations, and various aches and pains, for example, as you attempt to cope.
Mentally, your despair is likely to go beyond crushing sadness to causing depression, sleep issues, and anxiety. If that happens, always reach out for help from your doctor or a therapist to find relief from those distressing thoughts.
It’s Vital to Find Ways to Banish Negative Loops
Negative feedback loops are common in those who’re dealing with intense waves of grief. Feeling so much pain can lead to self-isolation and avoidance of your favorite activities, which in turn leads to more pain.
The first step in ending negative feedback loops is recognizing them. Once that happens, it’s easier to accept the feelings that come and replace the thoughts with positive alternatives. Over time, this process will become second nature, but it takes a lot of practice.
Time with Friends and Family Definitely Helps
While trying to get out from under the weight of heavy grief, many people withdraw from social situations. Unfortunately, that’s just about the worst thing you can do since it results in negative feedback loops. Instead, it’s important to reach out early and often to keep your friends and family close by your side.
If someone you love is dealing with grief, on the other hand, they may want to talk about how they feel often or just sit in silence by your side. Either way, go with the flow and let them lead the way. If they want to talk, listen closely to how they are feeling, and offer gentle reminders of their worth and ability to heal. If not, just stay by them as they soak in the silence and the warmth of your company.
Healing Will Happen on Your Own Terms
Although the grief might feel insurmountable at first, it is possible to heal. There’s no right timeline to follow nor stages to go through. You just have to start your journey one step at a time and allow setbacks to happen.
In addition to spending time with friends and family, let yourself sink into your favorite hobbies, which can help soothe your spirit. Whether you like to paint, drive RC cars, or exercise, make sure to carve a little time out of each day for those activities.
Although you might not feel like it at first, you’ll be glad that you did. The distractions can help take your mind off the pain and the time focusing on what you love will go a long way in healing your heart.
Jumpstart Your Healing with Memorial Diamonds
Eterneva knows that when grief hits, everyone needs to have a little bit of brightness on hand to help them through the darkest hours. To do their part in helping people cope with loss, they create memorial diamonds from the ashes of loved ones.
These treasures take about 10 months to create but provide a lifetime of comfort and an opportunity to remember and celebrate your loved one . They also provide a dedication page where you can share your loved one’s story with the world to honor their memory the best you can.
If you’d like to memorialize your loved one in this way, you just have to reach out to Eterneva to get started. They will collect all your info and let you know the next steps as soon as you get in contact with their team.
Learn more about Eterneva here: https://pitchbook.com/profiles/company/268347-43