Nothing can soften the pain of suddenly losing a loved one.
However, there are things you can do to help you cope following bereavement and to help you feel in control of your life again.
Each individual responds differently to trauma on the roads and you therefore need to do whatever feels right for you. Take a look below to read about some of the activities that can help you to cope and recover.
You may not feel like exercising at all following a harrowing experience. However, gentle physical exercise, accompanied by someone who cares for you, can begin to help you recover from the intense emotions that losing a loved one brings.
The sport or exercise you chose will be very individual to you – you may want to go for a run in the fresh air or do some yoga alone. Likewise, you may want to play football or badminton with friends to feel the social support of those around you.
Physical exercise has been strongly shown to help people recover from emotional pain and will help you maintain your physical health in this difficult time.
Doing something creative to express yourself or to help remember someone can help you to move forward as you grieve.
For example, making a memory box containing items that belonged to the person who has passed away, mounting photographs, painting a picture, writing down your memories, creating a song or a poem, or planting flowers or a tree can all aid the healing process.
As time moves on, you may wish to do something in their honour – like taking part in an event they were planning to do.
There’s no right or wrong thing to do to help you remember and celebrate the person’s life – it’s individual to you and you can do whatever feels right to you.
Preserving your loved one’s things
Clothing that belonged to the person who has died may still smell like them, which you may want to keep to help you preserve a part of them. Keeping items in an airtight ziplock bag can help to do this, and you can go back to these items at times that you’re really missing them.
Likewise, you may want to keep things that remind you of your loved one – no matter how big or small, or strange they may be.
Taking time out to do such things is not frivolous. It can be very helpful to your recovery and give you reassurance that someone’s memory is being kept alive.
Keeping some of their favourite things is a good way to help you move on while remembering the person who has passed away.
Enjoying activities and making plans
Many people find long-standing hobbies, such as cooking, gardening, playing music, or looking after pets become therapeutic for them. On top of this, some people find work is a stable and reassuring aspect of their life that gives them a sense of control and continuity.
Make time for whatever helps you. It may be spending time doing something that occupies you physically but allow your mind to wander.
Whatever it is, you don’t need to think of these things as a waste of time. This is an important part of grieving for someone and you should make time for any activities that help.