Bereavement: Grieving the Loss of a Loved One with 21 Days of Journaling
Life is an endless cycle of highs and lows, and no matter how we choose to live it, there are always things that are not in our control. Grief is a natural part of living, and it in no way indicates that life can't be enjoyable. Unfortunately, handling grief is tough and will take a toll on people. But like everything in life, we can salvage life.
What is Bereavement?
The experience of losing someone close to us is known as bereavement. We are supposed to define it by grieving, which is the process and variety of feelings we experience as we adjust to the loss through time.
Losing someone close to us, whether a partner, family member, friend, or pet, is emotionally devastating. As we come to terms with the loss, it's natural to go through a variety of physical and emotional reactions.
- when a relationship comes to an end
- a loss of a career, a move to a new area or a decline in someone we care about's physical or mental health
How long does grief last?
Grief has no temporal limit, and it varies significantly from person to person. The length of time spent grieving differs from person to person and is determined by factors such as the type of connection, the level of attachment or intimacy to the person who died, the circumstances of their death, and the amount of time spent expecting their end.
It's Ok That You're Not Ok
Although many of us feel comfortable talking openly about death, we still have a lot to learn about how to deal effectively with death's aftermath: grieving, the natural response to the loss of a loved one.
Few of us know what to do in order to be truly helpful to a grieving relative, friend, or acquaintance. In fact, only a tiny percentage of people who have had a traumatic loss are aware of how to assist themselves best.
Grief can't be resolved. Instead, it's a process that needs to be nurtured and experienced in whatever shape and for as long as it takes. That's why we believe journaling is a great exercise, one reaching to triumph in helping you nurse your trauma and loss.
We grieve our family, our bodies, our selves, but we need to grieve it in a way where we are kind to ourselves. So, with that said, we'll go through 21 steps to properly grieving with a thought-provoking journaling prompt. Below is a glimpse of your 21-day journey. Signup for this journal challenge today and join others around the world.
Day 1: Participate in the Rituals
Participate in rituals. Funerals, memorial services, and other customs help people get through the initial few days while also honoring the person who has died. It might be reassuring to be in the company of others who know your loved one.
Make a list of the things you need to do the night before in your journal. Get your tasks in order to focus your mind for the rituals.
Sometimes, menial tasks can help us distract ourselves from going sober and cold and help the brain process the shock, especially in the early stages of grief.
Day 2: Allow Yourself To Feel
Grief can be so intense that people would try to avoid feeling it in the hopes of avoiding the suffering. Avoidance does not work when it comes to grieving. While avoiding grieving may appear to be the best option, the agony will eventually catch up with you, and you will need to face and experience it. To heal, you've to allow yourself to feel.
Ask yourself: Why am I so uneasy with facing loss?
Remember: A broad spectrum of emotions accompanies grief. It is a healthy method to manage the mourning process to acknowledge and express it. You'll associate your loved one's life with your loved moments when you write about your sentiments and remember their life.
Day 3: Celebrate Their Life
The term "celebration of life" is frequently used as an alternative to "funeral." It has a nostalgic tone that honors the deceased's memory and celebrates what this individual contributed to the world. You may commemorate your loved ones in significant ways by allowing yourself to recall, talk about, and celebrate their lives.
Ask yourself this: What are some of my favorite memories of this loved one?
Tell a story about the loved one to other people. Talking helps, and then think about why you loved the moment so much. Then write it down!
Day 4: You Will Feel Lonely
Accept some loneliness. Loneliness is entirely normal, but it isn't essential. Reach out to support groups and friends who are accustomed to grief.
Here's another question: What have I learned about grief so far?
Writing about your experience with your personal grief will allow you to understand it better, especially if you're going to a support group or therapy where other people share their experiences.
Day 5: Don't Be Afraid To Cry
If you're having a bad day, don't stop yourself from crying. Don't worry if hearing certain music or doing specific things makes you sad because it reminds you of the person you lost. It's very typical to feel this way. It becomes less painful after a while. Recognize that you can (and will) improve your mood over time.
Track: Your moods and your progress; compare notes with yourself.
At this stage, you need to do yourself a favor and be kind to your mind as well as your body. Root for yourself when you're getting better, and nurse your wounds if they reopen.
Day 6: Maintain a routine in your day
Even if you aren't leaving the house, you should get ready and be up and about. Also, even if you aren't hungry, eat small, regular meals. Focus on your hobbies.
Ask yourself: What are some of the things I love most doing, starting with little hobbies?
Writing them down will make you keep pursuing exercise, journaling, painting. All the things you used to make yourself feel better in the first place.
Day 7: Forget The Past For The Present
After you've been bereaved, don't make any important decisions or adjustments at home or work. Don't dive into it if you struggle with making a big decision.
Ask yourself: What am I looking forward to after learning to move ahead?
Set small, attainable, short-term goals to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Life goes on, and any problem at work or school is secondary. Think about yourself and your recovery only.
Day 8: Preserve Memories
Make a memorial box or folder with mementos of the deceased individual. You can include memories, photos, phrases, or anything else you choose.
Here's an idea: Write a letter to your loved one.
If you want, you can write the person a note. You might wish to express your emotions, say anything you'd like to say.
Day 9: Sleep Right
The first week was emotionally taxing, exhausting, and you're probably wiped out. Take a good look at your sleeping patterns. Do you need a nap? If so, don't hesitate to block off time during the day to lay down and snooze. And make sure that you are doing everything in your power to get high-quality sleep for yourself.
Question: What steps am I taking to get high-quality sleep?
Allow yourself plenty of time to recover, write your thoughts before sleeping. Assess yourself. You'll find that introspection will give you a good night's sleep.
Day 10: Be Around Good Friends
Look for old and new friends that understand sadness and can let you be "alone but not alone" when you merely need company without adding to your worries or expectations. It's now time to be around people.
Ask yourself: Who is near and dear to me, and what do I appreciate about them?
This is an exercise in counting your wins, even when it's a loss. We are blessed to have good support in tough times.
Day 11: Am I Done Grieving?
Should grief last approximately a year? A month? 5 days? No, all wrong answers! There is no set period in which to grieve. It takes different amounts of time for different people.
Question: What has been the best thing I have achieved during this period of grief?
It doesn't have to be big; it can be something as simple as forgetting not to starve yourself or take medication.
Day 12: Consider how you'll plan for your death
It's difficult to talk about death with your family, but it's necessary. When you have a conversation with other family members, make sure it is during a peaceful moment.
Ask yourself: What do I want the people in my life to remember me as?
Write letters for your children or loved ones in which you give them life advice and share your hopes and dreams for them.
Day 13: You Have To Live Life
That adage about living each day as if it were your last has some truth to it. Nurture your relationships with your loved ones.
Ask yourself: How can I live life to the fullest?
Simply ask yourself what makes you happier, and go forth to achieve that. Manifest it!
Day 14: Learn to Beat Guilt
Things you said or didn't say or do may cause you regret or guilt. You may also experience remorse about certain emotions (feeling relieved when a person died after a long, complex illness, for example).
Write about: Why isn't my guilt justified?
Even if it was absolutely beyond your control, you might feel guilty for not doing more to avert your loss, so writing it down will help you assess and recognize the reasons behind your feelings.
Day 15: Grief Triggers
Prepare for "triggers" in your grieving. Anniversaries, holidays, and significant anniversaries can bring terrible memories and emotions.
Ask yourself this: What are the things that trigger my grief and why?
Expect an emotional rollercoaster, and know that it's perfectly normal. You can prepare by writing down the triggers and working to avoid them.
Day 16: The First Acceptance
When you lose someone, one of the most common issues you may have is a sensation of being out of control because you can't control when they leave you.
Question: Why couldn't I change the outcome of this loss?
The first acceptance will come from answering this question. Write about what you couldn't control and accept that it wouldn't have changed anything.
Day 17: Feel How You Want
Don't let anyone dictate how you feel. Keep doing whatever helps you the most.
Ask yourself: What is my grieving process, and how can I improve it?
You control your process and have the capability to adapt it consistently.
Day 18: Celebrate Your Life
If all you think about is the day you lost your loved one, or their illness, injury, or death, it's a cruel injustice. It is not only hurtful, but it also hinders your ability to recover and go on.
Answer this: What things will make me content in life?
Remember, you need to move forward, not backward. Celebrate new achievements and set goals in life.
Day 19: Kindness Is Key
Grief can be so overwhelming at times that it makes it challenging to realize your own needs. Grief and self-care are vital factors to consider. It is critical, even if it appears inconsequential at the time.
Ask yourself: How can I be nicer to myself during this time?
Remember to keep being kind and write down your honest feelings. This is one of the critical benefits of journaling.
Day 20: Accepting the New Reality
This is the final acceptance in your grief process. Accepting sadness and loss is a complex but necessary step in mourning.
Ask yourself: It's been almost 3 weeks of journaling; what progress have I made towards this new reality?
Grief has stages, and it's natural to go through them at different times throughout your recovery journey and even to return to previous phases just when you think you've finished with them.
Day 21: Preparing for the Future
Even though your loved one passed - you're still alive. It's important to remind yourself of that daily. Life is precious and every day is another opportunity to positively impact those around you.
Ask yourself: Who can I positively impact in my circle of family or friends today? And what will I do to positively impact them?
We hope that you Sign up with JournalOwl now to start your daily online journal, a saving grace in this period of loss.
JournalOwl is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, medication, or therapy. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding any mental health symptoms or conditions. JournalOwl is not authorized to make recommendations about medication or serve as a substitute for professional advice. You should never disregard professional psychological or medical advice, or delay in seeking treatment, based on anything you read on JournalOwl’s website or platform.