Feeling better won’t happen overnight. At first, it may be all you can do just to get through the day. But there is hope. Know that you will feel better with time, as long as you let yourself grieve. You need to grieve in order to heal. It hurts, but it is a normal part of healing process.
Your first response is often the most intense. You may cry a lot. Or you may feel a deep numbness or shock. Everyone grieves in his or her own way, but there are common signs of grief:
Having intense mood swings
Sleeping too much or too little
Eating too much or too little
Having trouble thinking clearly
Wanting to be alone all the time
Try not to expect too much of yourself right away. It may be hard to work, take care of the kids, or focus on projects for a while. Give yourself more time than usual to get things done, since you may be distracted. Take time for yourself. Do some things that you enjoy. Go for a ride in the country. Read. It may feel like nothing brings you joy. But know that time really does help.
Let yourself feel all of your feelings and go through your grief fully. The process is full of ups and downs. One day you may feel a lot better. The next day, you may cry again. Try not to think: “I should be over this by now.” There are no “shoulds” to grief. Let yourself mourn your loss as long as you need to. It might help to think of ways you dealt with a loss in the past. That way grief won’t seem so scary and overwhelming.
Because grief hurts, it’s tempting to avoid the pain. Grieve now. Try to avoid these things that delay healing and cause new problems:
Using drugs, alcohol, or food to numb your feelings
Making the loss seem smaller than it really is (“We weren’t that close”)
Working long hours to avoid pain
Trying to replace the loss
Thinking over and over how you could “undo” the loss
Staying alone to avoid sad feelings that come up around friends or family
Thinking you have to stay strong all the time
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