Hospice employee taking care of the patientSeveral billion people in the world and it had to be the one you love. Death has a finality that puts to test even the strongest people who ever learned to love anyone. It is never easy to accept the way things have changed since your loved one passed.

One thing you should know about grief: it is a process. Talk to a friend, your family, even to someone from grief and bereavement services groups in Indiana. What you should realize is that you are not alone in this. There is no ticking clock to tell you how quickly you must get over your loved one’s demise.

With that in mind, heed these little pieces of advice. They might just help you heal.

Do not rush it

You are probably wondering why it hurts as much as it does, and if anyone else ever felt the same way. Then comes the inevitable next chapter in your book of grief: the question of when will it end. You are not on the clock. Take your time to grieve; take the time to heal. You are the only person who can tell if you are finally ready to move on.

Do not shut the world out

Take your time, but if you never open up, know that you are likely going to need more – a lot more – time. Yes, it is up to you; you decide when to open up – but it must happen eventually if you are ever going to come to terms with the loss and learn how to cope.

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Do not use liquor or drugs as your “support system”

It may be tempting to turn to drunkenness or to get a high to forget your loss, but think about it: when you sober up, will your grief be over? Drugs and alcohol are destructive and not even the death of a loved one can justify their use. Your support system is your family and friends, not the bottle.

Everyone grieves a different way. So do your own thing, cope with your loss on your own terms. Just remember that you need and deserve a helping hand, and so do others who are feeling the same loss.