How To: Dealing With Loss, Grief And Pain

Note: This is a 1600 words article.
For the podcast, it’s right here. Enjoy!

| It sucks that we miss people like that.
 You think you’ve accepted that someone is out of your life, that you’ve grieved and it’s over, and then bam.
 One little thing, and you feel like you’ve lost that person all over again |

• Rachel Hawkins, Demonglass

I haven’t lost that many friends to something as harsh as death; after losing a friend to cancer four years back. 
And so I’m grateful for that.
I have however lost plenty. 
To the “Busy-With-Life” Cliché, to Distance, to Sudden Awkward Conversations Turned Once-In-A-Month Check-ups, to Foolish Fallouts, to Unanticipated Clashes, to Misunderstandings, and probably a couple more.
We have all experienced some sort of loss. 
It’s how life is, howbeit that doesn’t make it any easier.
It’s hard to handle, it’s heartbreaking, it’s torturous, and it hurts. 
Every time. All kinds.

Psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, in 1969, after studying different patients, categorizes Grief, which springs up from loss, into five stages:
• Denial

• Anger

• Bargaining

• Depression

• Acceptance
A majority of us step into these phases.
Not in any particular order, and not necessarily everyone of it; after all, we individually react to situations, and very peculiarly too.
     But getting to that place of acceptance, plus the peace that comes along with it, isn’t so simple.
A couple of times, we get stuck at a point and it looks like we can’t take even one more step; we’d rather just sit there and feel sorry for ourselves

But no matter how painful it feels, it is always comforting to know that it doesn’t hurt forever. 
It couldn’t even if it wanted to.
The pain won’t always be so intense, and we can — maybe not right now, (which is perfectly okay), find the strength to push on.
And so here are ten tactics, not to guarantee absence or the extermination of those feelings clawing at our heart and senses, but to help make them easily to handle:

10. When it’s Fresh, You Would Need To Cry A Lot. Cry. 
I would continually be a believer that if it’s hurting and you need to cry, just suck it up—and cry.
You got an ego? No problem. 
It doesn’t have to be in the face of everyone. But it does have to be let out.
Psychodynamic theraphy rests on the concept that we are hobbled by old emotions/thoughts and that crying could prevent new ones and release the old.
Reports even say that over two-third of mental health practitioners actively promote crying as a theraphy tool.
It doesn’t paint you as weak.
On the contrary, it presents you as bold enough to stop cramping and forcing all those emotions into that tight space.
It’s okay to cry. No one has the right to tell you otherwise.
9. It’s Still Not Possible To Revoke It
We’d always wish it was otherwise, but it isn’t. The past has always passed along.
Any form of anger, regrets or wishing you had done this that other way, so that maybe things could have turned out differently, is but void and only self-torture.
Through all of the past occurrences that add up to the present, there is no benefit to overanalyzing what “could have been”, the “what if’s” and the “if only”.
There is only now, and what could have been, just never turned out to be.
8. Don’t Take Others Everything Too Seriously. 
People around you see what you look like right now. I’m speaking literally. And trust that it’s scary.
Scary not that you’re frightening, but all that you’re feeling on the inside is out on display, and you aren’t the only one panicking on what to do.
They will say silly things. They will be too clingy, too caring, too helpful. 
Sometimes, it’s not intentional. 
Most people won’t even know what to tell you. Everyone would just be trying.
At the same time, to some, you may look like you’re overreacting. Acting childish. Seeking attention. Cry baby.

Forgive us all.

No one can feel it like you feel it, everybody (including this teenager acting like she knows it all but only because you’re worth it ☺) can only give their $0.02 advice.
Don’t take it too much to heart, but one thing you should do leads to the next point:
7. Get Every Help You Can

It’s hard to want to get help in situations like these.
We are convinced no one could possibly do anything substantial, because no one else can really understand it.
They aren’t the ones in your shoes, they couldn’t possibly understand. Yes?

.  Yes.
But there is an understanding that you are wallowing in anguish — they are willing to piece together the little details they do understand, and if you throw them a couple more, it’ll help make the picture a little bit more clearer for them.
They will never fully understand. But get every help you can.
6. It Gets Better. If You Attempt To Let It. 
No amount of loss or grief or detachment is too much for you to handle. You can.
Some people believe you never really truly totally, a hundred percent heal from some .
I’d say if you look at it as the “wound” that it is, you do heal.
You can’t keep picking at a wound and expect it to cover up and go away.
You can’t keep taking off the dressing to stare sadly at that sore spot or examine how deep it went and how bloody it still looks.
You can’t act like it doesn’t exist either.
In the mornings, (looking at mornings as the beginning stage), it’s going to hurt like hell and there would be times you would have no option that to sit though that painful pain (like in the shower. Not literally. 
Unless you do have a physical bruise and not in that heart.)
But you’re going to have to clean it every once in a while, cover it back up and get into your life.
You just have to.
5. Keep the memories? Maybe.
This is a popular question.
Do I get rid of them or do I not?
We naturally believe it’s easier to handle and forget when we get rid of every reminder linking our brains back to that whom we lost: The pictures, the cards, the messages, the thoughts, the special places.
This doesn’t necessarily work all the time.
Sometimes, we’d need those memories in the far future and we just might never forgive ourselves if we get rid of them.
So here’s an option to choose from:
If you can, don’t get rid of it; keep them in a closet or elsewhere but not totally out of reach permanently.
If all it’s doing is hurting you intensely and consistently, trash it.
4.Talk To Them. Right There. Right Now.

One of the zillions of the most beautiful lessons I learnt from one of my favourite books ever, Eat Pray Love by Liz Gilbert (I will never stop referring this book to my readers,) was when on a rooftop, she summoned her miles away ex husband who she never really ended amicably with, and she talked with him. He really wasn’t there.
Where was he? Maybe out at dinner, maybe with some friends, maybe asleep, who cares?
It wasn’t about him, it was about her. 
It was for closure.
And so she talked with him, she just talked. (And it was beautiful).
I do it a lot. For closures to relationships that just, up and left (prettier words than using crashed like a wrecking ball.)
Talk to them. Right there. Now.
3.Forgive you, forgive them
If it’s you who needs the forgiving for any reason whatsoever, it’s time to have compassion on yourself and pardon you.
Errors you make do not define you once you acknowledge them.
And if it’s the other person needing the forgiving, let them out of your system.
We like to think we need to wait for that apology from them first — some feeling of remorse.
Some people will never care.
Which means the only person bothering, is you. Forgive them.
2. Spend Less Time On Your Own Idle
We naturally crave less contact during these moments. We urge to get absorbed in every little bit of it. 
You’d need a sort of distraction.
Alone time gives your head plenty of free time and energy to torture you. And you know it.
Every once in a while, consciously give yourself a break from the burden.
The aim isn’t to act like the challenge is nonexistent, but to put it aside.
You don’t need to be around people if you aren’t really for the pity looks, and arms around your waist and or shoulder,or bear hugs. 
Get into your favourite pastime. 
Pick a new one.
Do something else.
1. What Would *Insert name here* Want?
I’d like to think this is one of the most important on this list.
And I’d break it down with two sceneairos:
Person X got betrayed, or let down, or abandoned. Or all.
It’s easy for Person X to feel Person X (him or herself,)caused it. 
But nobody deserves betrayal or disappointment or abandonment.
And what would your predator want? That you make yourself believe you do.
And what should you do? Don’t give the Predator their want.
Sceneairo two: 
Person Z lost someone dear. Person Z never really showed how dear that person was, never had a chance for goodbye, never expected it.
What do you think that loved one would really want? To see you suffering?
I think not.

Dealing with grief, Handling loss, What to do when you lose someone, Sadness, Grief pet.png

So gather up all of the broken pieces at your pace.
And try again.
Got anything to share? Questions? Suggestions? Feedbacks?

 I’d love to hear from you through the comments section!

And one more thing:
If this was helpful, please share the heck out of it! 💜
Deliciously Yours To Savour,

More Juice?

  • Prayze

    Nice write up, good one!
    Thumbs up!!!

  • Hi Ima

    Very insightful and encouraging post. The tips were all spot on. The last time I lost a loved one was right after Mother’s Day in 2014. Extremely painful that I had not seen my sister in many years (live in different countries) and then she died without me being able to say a word to her. I think that was the hardest thing to deal with.

    • Oh wow
      I’m so sorry about that.
      Must have been hard. We thank God for grace.
      But I think that’s the beautiful part of it all, that no matter how hard and dark it was, somehow, we still find the courage to advance in life.
      Plus time really does help.
      Thank you so much for reading ☺

  • A

    And in the End, they ain’t really lost to us….keeping you(lost person) close to mine heart has made me stronger in the years past and continually gives me strength till my own end

    • I like how you look at it.
      I really do ☺
      We alone can decide to use those experiences to push onwards or to stay down and feel sorry about it all.
      Thanks for reading!

  • Great post. I always try and conentrate on the good memories and be grateful they exist.


    • Exactly. That works plenty for me too when I put in the effort.
      The good memories would always be ours to keep and no one can take them away.
      Thank you for reading Annessa!

  • Nifesimi

    Good write up…keep the great work

  • Yomi Fuye

    Lovely write up Ima.

  • Olaitan

    I agree with you. Especially point 10. It’s okay to cry. Let your guards down and cry. It’d have a positive effect.
    Laitanbee Blog

    • Yup
      It relieves one of so much.
      Thank you for reading Olaitan.

  • This is beautiful! I have never lost anyone close to me but it is a source of anxiety for me. My grandparents are getting older and I just don’t want to regret anything.

    • Yeah, I can imagine how scary it could be.
      But it’s of no benefit worrying about all that is inevitable or hasn’t happened yet.
      The better alternative is enjoying all of the beautiful times and awesome people we’re blessed to still have right now.
      Thanks for popping in Zoey!

  • Great article
    I don’t even know where to start highlighting from. Had me nodding in the affirmative almost throughout
    My first time here and I’m definitely going to be back

    • Awwnn thank you so much! So good to hear that!
      Look forward to seeing you around 🙂

  • A/Azeez

    I like #10, #6, #5 & #3 the most.
    Keen to detail article. Vwery well worded

    • Thank you so much!
      I appreciate it 🙂

  • Imaobong of life… You strip it all naked…
    Great piece as usual.
    I was thinking of writing on ” the post breakup cycles ”
    With this piece I don’t think I have to write it again. I prolly share this and I hope my folks get the message even through this.
    God bless you richly!

    • Aww thanks you so much Olatunji
      I do hope they get the message too.
      Although you could still go ahead to write on that, no two writers ever approach a topic the exact same way, so it’ll definitely be lovely reading from anther perspective!
      Thanks for stopping by. God bless you too!

  • Ayo

    Awesome post.. Iono what to point out.. But i nodded mentally to absolutely everything.. I dig this post.. God bless your soul

    • 🙂
      I’m really glad this was relatable for you Ayo!
      Thank you, thank you, thank you <3
      And God bless you plenty too!

  • kayode


  • Charlie

    Am speechelss,but the post just gave me what i needed.

    • I am so glad it did!
      Thanks for reading 🙂