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Coping with the Loss of a Loved One

By Debra Kissen

Coping with the Loss of a Loved One

When we lose someone close to us it can feel so difficult to manage. Especially when that person was such a staple in the family or friend group and I speak to that with both personal and professional experience. I lost my father when I was young and still to this day find myself becoming emotional over the loss, especially when I realize he is not physically here during life’s milestones. And in dealing with these un-relinquished moments I rely on what has worked for me and so many others who have experienced the loss of a loved one.

Here are 5 simple, effective tips to cope with the loss of a loved one:

  1. Talk about your loved one with others grieving the loss as well. Talk about the loss with family, friends, and others grieving the loss. You can ask about their favorite memories and to share their favorite pictures of your loved one. You may hear a new story or see a new photo you had never heard/seen before.
  2. Allow your body and mind to experience the full range of emotions associated with the loss. Recognizing and acknowledging emotions that range from sadness to anger, etc. can allow you to move forward in grieving the loss.
  3. Write in a journal. It can be helpful to write your thoughts and feelings down for anything you are going through. When it comes to processing the loss of a loved one the process can be difficult. Writing down your thoughts and feelings as they relate to situations in your life can help you gain understanding and control of your thoughts and feelings.
  4. Seek professional help. Know that there are trained professionals that can offer support through the difficulty of losing a loved one. I am happy to meet with you to assist in grieving the loss. In addition, support groups consisting of others who are dealing with the grief of a loved one can also be very beneficial.  
  5. Finally, know that there is no “right” amount of time to grieve the loss of your loved on. Be gentle with yourself through this process and remember that this process is personal to you. The goal is not to get over the loss but to learn how to cope with the grief. Everyone grieves on different timelines and there is no right or wrong length of time to grieve. Grieving is a process, be gentle with yourself through this.

Dr. Debra Kissen is CEO of Light On Anxiety CBT Treatment Center. Dr. Kissen specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)...

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