Main Menu

How to cope with losing a loved one

Grief can be tough to cope with, but there are things you can do to help ease the pain.

Child or teen waving goodbye to a balloon representing someone who has died

Dealing with grief is one of the most challenging things you'll do

But know that you will get through this and it's ok to seek support along the way.

Things to remember:

  • It's important to accept how you feel
  • Some days will be harder than others
  • Take your time and be patient with yourself
  • You may never get over the loss completely, but you will heal
  • You will move back and forth between sadness and feeling better
  • If it gets overwhelming, there is support available
  • There are strategies that can help you cope - check them out below

Remember to take care of yourself!

Grief can be physically and emotionally draining. You will need to look after yourself to help you get through this difficult time by:

Eating healthily and frequently

Sticking to your usual routine

Getting enough exercise

Prioritising daily tasks

Getting a good night's sleep

Staying connected with others

Avoiding alcohol and drugs

Being kind to yourself

Spending some time alone

Doing something you enjoy

Strategies to help

Here are some strategies to help you process your loss:

Acknowledge your pain in order to heal
Avoiding the loss or bottling up feelings will only make your journey longer.
Talk to someone you trust
Don’t be afraid to share your emotions with others.
Let your emotions out
Cry or talk about your feelings, play music, draw, write, dance, or punch some pillows.
Support each other
Talk to others who are grieving; share special memories or what you miss most about the person who is gone.
Keep a diary
Writing can be a great way to explore how you feel and tracking your feelings over time.
Let others help
It’s ok to accept help from family or friends. Let them know what they can do to help you.
Take time out
It’s ok to smile or laugh, it doesn’t mean that you’re forgetting your loss or moving on.
Give it time
It takes time to heal from losing someone or something close to you. Be patient with yourself.

Some days will be rough, but over time it will get better. This doesn't mean that you're forgetting the person you've lost; it means that you're finding a way to cope with it.

Saying goodbye matters

When you're feeling ready, it can be helpful to get some closure by saying goodbye to the person you lost.

Ways to say goodbye include:

  • Going to a funeral or memorial service
  • Participating in rituals and ceremonies
  • Writing a letter or email
  • Writing a poem or song
  • Sending a message off in a balloon

Honouring your loss

Finding ways to remember and honour the person you lost can help soothe the pain you feel. It can be something simple like:

Planting a tree

Keeping a journal

Taking part in a charity event

Sharing memories with others

Making a donation in their name

Talking about their life

Making a photo album

Cooking their favourite meal

Building a memorial with personal items and objects that remind you of them 

Visiting or spending time in a place you feel close to them

Buying a special candle and lighting it at memorable times

Volunteering with a charity or cause close to their heart

Writing a song or poem about them

Creating a new tradition to remember them

Finding or creating a special space to spend time with them

Doing something that you used to do together

Attending an event that reminds you of them (sports game, movie, play)

Doing something they would have enjoyed

If you're finding it hard to deal with your grief, it's ok to ask for help.

We're here for you 24/7.

Give us a call, start a WebChat or send us an email today.

This content was last reviewed 31/01/2019

Was this information useful?

Help us by rating this page:

Thanks for your feedback!

Thanks for your feedback!

Talking helps! We’re here for you.

No problem is too big or too small.
We're here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week