HereAfter Blog

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Coping with Grief and Loss

Death and loss are unavoidable trials of the human journey, and grief is a shared and universal experience. Regardless of age, you are bound to encounter bereavement at some stage in life. The question is not whether we will experience grief but rather how we respond to it when we do. How do we process, come to terms with, and move on from loss? When a loved one passes away, it is natural to feel lost, unsure of how to move forward. If you’ve found yourself caught between grief and uncertainty, these guidelines may help:

Acknowledge your feelings no matter how uncomfortable the grieving period may be, it is necessary to accept, understand, and process your feelings. Avoidance prevents healing. Facing your pain headon and finding healthy ways to adapt allows you to move forward after loss.

Grief can be unpredictable be cognizant of how grief affects your emotions and behavior. Keep in mind that grief does not cleanly move through stages, and you may experience different phases of it during unforeseeable moments. Take the time necessary to process and reflect on the different stages you find yourself in. Be kind to yourself and seek support when needed.

Brace yourself for difficult reminders Photos, music, scents, holidays, and anniversaries are common triggers found in daily life. Regardless of where you are in the world, you’re bound to be reminded of your loved one from time to time. Recognizing these triggers and giving yourself permission to feel the emotions they carry will strengthen your cognition and promote healing.

Remember to take care of yourself Grief takes a toll on your body almost as if you’re dealing with a physical illness. During this time, it’s important to nourish your body with healthy foods, get plenty of rest, and exercise regularly. Your physical state directly connects to your mental wellbeing. Caring for yourself has proven to be a highly effective tool for healing.

Talk about your loved one’s passing and celebrate their lives This method allows you to not only process the death of a loved one but also remember their life journey and reflect on joyful memories. Choose a way to remember them that is unique to your relationship. Whether it’s bringing flowers to their headstone, planting a tree, or donating to a charity, creating a tradition that memorializes a loved one is an excellent way to cope with grief and honor their memory.

Move forward but never forget a common misconception is that for someone to move on, they must let go. Grief is different in the sense that it never truly leaves, rather it gradually becomes easier to bear. Although your loved one is not physically with you, their memory will stay in your heart and remain an intrinsic part of you.

Seek support whether it’s a support group, counselor, friends or family, religious beliefs, etc., giving yourself a space to grieve and receive comfort from others is crucial to processing loss. Seeking isolation during times of grief can drastically impede healing. Because we are creatures who thrive in community, love and support are integral human needs. These needs are especially prominent during times of hardship, so it’s necessary to lean on others for help and support.


Bereavement is an inevitable part of the human condition. Knowing how to effectively manage and persevere through grief is an invaluable skill. If you’re reading this because of a loved one’s recent passing, please know that you are not alone in this experience. With awareness, support, and time, healing will come.
For more resources on coping with grief and loss, please visit
Helpful Links

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
Phone number: 988

North Carolina

HopeLine: Crisis Line for North Carolina
Phone number: