How To Deal with The Loss of A Loved One
She was all I had. All I thought I had.
I grew up as the only girl child of my parents and it was hard for me to make friends, then I met Tope.
She was the younger sister of a neighbor who came to visit. She was nice so it was no surprise that we became friends during her stay. Our friendship blossomed to the point where people mistook us for family. She was welcome at my home as I was at hers.
At her sixteenth birthday party, I was there to celebrate with her. She introduced me as her best friend to the guests and that was a cherry on top of an already beautiful party.
The next morning, we were all exhausted from the party but we still had to get up for her family’s morning devotion. I shared the bed with her so I decided to wake her. I tapped her a couple of times, but she did not respond. I tried to roll her over then I felt her cold skin. She felt different. I went numb immediately. My brain answered the question before I could ask the question. Tope was dead. I could not believe she was gone. Just like a whiff of wind. I felt my life was over. I felt robbed.
In the days that followed, I asked myself what I could have done to change that outcome. Did I sleep too much to have noticed her dying seconds? Should I have stayed awake talking to her all night? Did she complain of any aches or pains that I overlooked? Did she call out for me in the middle of the night, but I was too sleepy?
I withdrew from everyone. I could not eat, sleep or even take care of my own hygiene. Nothing mattered anymore.
According to a Swiss-American psychiatrist named Elizabeth Kübler-Ross in her book “On Death and Dying”, the grief process could get divided into five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. But the grief process is also very personal and differs from one individual to another.
You might be wondering, How do you get over the death of a loved one? Do you ever stop grieving for a loved one? What is the healthiest way to deal with grief from the loss of a loved one?
Mine didn’t follow the conventional process. Here is how I managed my grief:
Accepting the reality of Tope’s death was the toughest part of it. But once I accepted that she was gone, I found the strength to take my bath. I knew the only way I could ever see her was through the memories we shared, and I accepted it.
I shared my feelings
I spoke to my loved ones and the people around me about how I felt. People often want to assist but aren’t sure how, so let them know what you need—whether it’s a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, or someone to talk to.
Though it was tough, it helped my loved ones understand my hurt and how they could support me. Even if you pride yourself on being tough and self-sufficient, this is the time to lean on the people who care about you.
Take care of yourself
Even though I didn’t want to, I knew I couldn’t overlook my health at that point. My family and friends made sure I ate regularly, took my vitamins, and took a long walk daily. Those little acts of taking care of myself helped massively in managing my grief.
It took me months before I could finally soak it in, but I knew I had to.
My emotions are valid
I allowed myself to experience whatever emotions I was experiencing: rage, despair, or even relief. Every emotion that comes with sorrow is valid. I felt a variety of emotions, including grief, rage, and tiredness.
All these emotions are natural, and it’s critical to know when you’re experiencing them.
Lastly, she will always be a part of me, and I can only keep her alive by being alive.
If you’re feeling trapped or overwhelmed by your emotions, speaking with a qualified psychologist will help. A mental health expert can help you manage your feelings and discover methods to get back on track may be beneficial.