When we lose a loved one, it’s always difficult and it always catches you off guard. Most of the time, we cry. We just cry and cannot stop.Other times, we alienate ourselves from the world, living purely in our own little bubble. It doesn’t matter how you grieve as there is no right or wrong way. But typically, the biggest question for those we recently lost a loved one is “Where do I go from here? What now?”
Firstly, take your time in the grieving process and focus on being happy again. There’s no need to rush anything because in the end, everything will be okay, even if it seems to be otherwise.
The first thing I would recommend is to turn to family and friends for support. Don’t ever think you are a burden by opening up your feelings because they are going to want to be there for you, to take care of you. Let them do so, even if you a strong, independent person. They may not be able to empathize or know what to say but they will always listen. You should never try to suppress your grief as you cannot avoid it forever. You must face and overcome the pain to heal. The only thing you do by suppressing it is prolonging the grieving process as well as making the situation more difficult for not just you, but the people around you as well.
I also find discovering your own haven is incredibly useful. For me personally, when I lost my best friend Scott to lung cancer, I turned to writing, specifically poetry. This really helped me because Scott guided me a lot in life, even though he was only 13. He gave me advice whenever I needed it and he always seemed to have an answer. I look back and it’s ineffable to see how mature he acted for his age and when I lost him, I felt lost and helpless. That’s why I decided to translate all my feelings into poems, especially since everytime I tried to open up, I was at a loss of words. It helped me organize my thoughts and get through a really low point in my life. I look back and realize though it didn’t bring my friend back, it eventually became my salvation. It helps more than you think it would.
Writing a letter to someone that is gone helps too, saying things you never got to say will help or do something in remembrance for them such as getting involved in an organization that was important to him/her. Find something that can be your “rock”, whether it is a creative, athletic or charitable outlet.
The most important thing is to remember that the entire process will take time. Death is a big aspect to cope with, so don’t think you have to tackle everything all at once. Instead, take things step by step. And when you start to feel happy again, do not feel guilty. It is simply misplaced guilt. The person you lost will want you to be happy, to move on with your life, to essentially have you be your own person. Of course, the death of a loved will change you but don’t let it define you. We are all strong people, and we all deserve to be happy.
I’ve seen people around me constantly lose their loved ones and recently, a good friend of mine, Pooja Misra, lost both her parents to a house fire and my condolences goes out to her. May they rest in peace. It also goes out to anyone whose lost someone in their lives recently or before as all our prayers will always be with them. Smile for them as that is probably what they want most.
Jodie is beijingkids’ student correspondent and is our eyes and ears on the ground. A junior student at Western Academy of Beijing, Jodie is also a contributor to the student-run magazine Unit-E. Check back for more of her blogs about student life.