How to deal with mourning?

The death of a loved one is one of the most painful experiences life can deal us. When someone close like a family member or dear friend dies, mourning is a natural response as you grieve the loss. The deep pain of grief can seem overwhelming at times. While mourning may continue for a long time, there are compassionate ways to begin coping with grief and start the healing process.
By illume Editorial Team
Last updated: Oct 12, 2023
3 min read
Advice
Navigating Grief: Understanding the Difference Between Mourning and Grieving

Understanding Mourning

Mourning is the outward expression of inner grief we feel when a loved one dies. People experience mourning in many ways, but common reactions include:

  • Feeling deep sadness and sorrow
  • Crying frequently
  • Withdrawing from normal activities
  • Losing motivation and energy
  • Questioning beliefs and the meaning of life
  • Feeling agitation, anxiety, or depression
  • Longing to reconnect to the person who died

These mourning experiences are all normal parts of grieving the loss of a cherished person.

Coping with Early Grief and Mourning

The early days and weeks after your loved one dies are often the most intensely painful. Here are some tips for coping through initial mourning:

Allow Yourself to Fully Experience All Emotions

Suppressing emotions prolongs mourning. Let yourself cry, express anger, etc.

Attend Funerals and Memorials

Rituals like funerals help provide closure and support community connection.

Share Your Grief with Loved Ones

Talking about your loss and the person who died can help ease mourning.

Accept Support and Comfort

Don’t isolate yourself. Spend time with family, friends, and religious communities who console you.

Embrace Spiritual Coping Practices

Prayer, meditation, and faith practices can provide strength during mourning.

Prioritize Rest and Self-Care

Grief is exhausting. Get adequate sleep, nutrition, and breaks from mourning.

Getting Through Grief Triggers During Mourning

Certain dates, events, or milestones can freshly trigger mourning. Having coping strategies in place helps you through them, like:

  • Making plans to distract yourself on challenging days
  • Allowing yourself to fully mourn and express emotions
  • Reflecting on positive memories of the person
  • Attending gatherings or memorial events for support
  • Talking through your grief with trusted friends

Moving Forward in Your Grief Journey

As the initial mourning subsides, you’ll start adapting to life without your loved one. Useful coping strategies include:

Talk to a Grief Counselor

A therapist provides judgment-free space to process emotions at your own pace.

Join a Bereavement Support Group

Connecting with others experiencing similar grief can ease mourning.

Commemorate Your Loved One

Doing activities they enjoyed or memorializing them keeps their memory alive.

Forgive Any Regrets and Guilt

Letting go of regret over things unsaid or undone can help mourning.

Develop New Routines

Gradually resuming interests and responsibilities promotes healing.

Embrace Happier Memories

Recalling joyful times with your loved one can ease sadness during mourning.

Seeing Your Doctor If Mourning Is Prolonged

While grief always takes time to heal, see your doctor if mourning remains extremely intense for many months. You may need treatment for complicated grief disorder. Medication and therapy can relieve deep depression and inability to function.
With the compassion of loved ones and your own self-care, the piercing pain of early mourning after a death will gradually lessen. Cherishing your connection to the person who died through memory and living forward brings eventual healing. In time, embracing life again is possible.