When Relationships End: Grieving the Loss of Someone You Care About
Not all relationships are meant to last forever. Some people enter into our lives for a season, then seem to vanish as quickly as they appeared. However, understanding this reality does not make it any less difficult when we must grieve the absence of someone we care about.
Whether it’s a friend that we’ve grown apart from, a break-up with a significant other or the passing of a special person in your life, losing someone you care about can be extremely painful. This article will explore five strategies for helping you cope with the ending of relationships in a healthy way.
- Allow yourself the time and space to process your emotions. As painful and overwhelming as your feelings of grief might be, it is crucial to let them all rise to the surface. Whether it’s processing your emotions verbally with others or writing in a journal, identifying what you are feeling is extremely beneficial. Studieshave shown that accurately labeling your emotions makes the experience of sadness, anger or pain less intense.
- Lean into your support system.Don’t try to walk through the healing process alone. Identify the friends and family members that you know you can rely on to support you without judgment. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need and utilize the supportive people in your life- they want to be there for you.
- Channel your energy into your passions. While it’s important not to use distractions to avoid your feelings, having a healthy outlet can be beneficial. Think about how you might re-engage with a hobby that you set aside for a while, or consider starting a new project.
- Be gentle with yourself. The most important thing to remember is that healing from the loss of a significant relationship takes time. Some days you might feel like you’re taking positive steps forward only to be struck with another wave of sadness or anger. Know that it’s all part of the process. All you can do is continue taking it one day at a time, one hour at a time. Maybe you are not exactly where you’d like to be today, but you will get there.
- Consider seeking professional support. If you are continuing to experience extreme emotions that you find difficult to manage, or that are interfering with your ability to carry out everyday activities, you might consider reaching out for more support. A therapist can help you to navigate this difficult season and provide strategies for managing feelings of anger, sadness and grief.
The ending of a significant relationship can bring about many difficult feelings that require time to heal from. Ultimately, there is no right way to grieve- and everyone’s journey will look different. As tempting as it may be to avoid intense feelings, challenge yourself to move through the process whatever it may look like for you- and remember to be gentle with yourself every step of the way.