The experience of losing a loved one can feel dark and lonely, especially as a divorced man. Whether you’ve lost a father to cancer or unexpectedly lost a child, death and loss is a unique experience to an individual.
Although we can empathize with a friend or share the grief of a family member, how someone copes with death and heals from a loss is ultimately a personal journey.
Amidst the devastation, despair and disorientation of losing someone dear to you, there are steps you can take that may help your healing process:
Mourn, Let Go & Move Forward
Moving on from death is a journey and mourning is the first destination — acceptance will follow.
Tiny Buddha contributor Alex Lickerman explains that “people find themselves stuck in grief, unable to move on.” By surrendering to grief, you can let go of the pain that connects you to your loved one and believe that being happy once again doesn’t mean your loved one has become an insignificant memory.
Lickerman adds that everyone grieves differently. Allow yourself to become engulfed in suffering and from there you can begin to free yourself from the pain. Let it happen naturally and avoid expectations for how and when you’ll start to truly heal.
Join Social Networking Sites
You can easily retreat to a solitary place while handling loss — balking from emotions and turning away from friends and family. Welcoming the support and kind words of friends, family members and co-workers help you heal and so can social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Follow inspirational pages such as the Facebook page of spiritual leader Ed Young and self-proclaimed wellness pioneer Dave Romanelli. Pastor Young shares encouraging videos and posts saying “pain doesn’t have to paralyze you,” which can help with overcoming grief. Visit Romanelli’s page for inspirational posts and images such as “Embrace uncertainty. Move through fear. And say thank you for it all.”
Pinterest is a social networking resource that can provide support, and even DadsDivorce.com has a Pinterest page. Grieving.com’s Pinterest boards, such as “Sayings To Get Us Through” and “Inspirational Places to List Our Hearts,” may just help you get through another day.
Losing a loved one is always unwanted change, yet subsequently pursuing change in other aspects of your life can help with the healing process.
Following death, you may understandably find solace and comfort in surrounding yourself with all your loved one’s belongings.
Displaying a few photos and storing keepsakes will celebrate the life of your loved one; however, remodeling the bedroom and discarding possessions will help you let go and accept that they’re no longer in your life.
Engage in a new fitness activity that you’ve never tried before. If you and your loved one were avid runners together, break away from running for awhile and take golf lessons or try yoga.
Staying active keeps you busy and mentally healthy. Fitness can provide you with a new routine for a new life. HelloGrief.org’s Pete Shrock says that “building a routine and schedule will help,” especially for a parent who’s caring for children and trying to provide security and structure.
Create a new world, trust and confidence by assigning mandatory obligations and suggesting new activities for the family to engage in together as well as independently.