top of page
  • Allison Ramsey, Asheville Grief Counselor

What To Do In The Early Days of Grief

How to start grieving

What To Do In The Early Days of Grief

When you’ve lost someone that has been a part of your life, everything is thrown off-kilter, nothing makes sense anymore. It’s like walking on another planet where everything looks the same, but it all feels different. There are no quick fixes to becoming assimilated to this new world. It takes awhile to get the hang of it, and it’s hard. You may not want to get the hang of it. You’re fueled with resistance that works hard against your best interests. There are several things you can do to start to make sense of everything.

Talk to someone everyday. It doesn’t have to be the same person, or even someone that knows your recent history. Isolation is bad for grieving. Having a deeper level of interaction with a supportive person once or twice a week is helpful. Someone you can talk about your loved one with, someone who won’t tell you to “get over it.”

Get some sleep. I know this can be hard to do, especially if you’re sleeping in a new place, or without the person who used to be by your side. A counselor can teach you some practices to help you fall asleep and get back to sleep in the middle of the night.

Don’t sleep too much. Sleeping may come easy for you, in fact it might be the only place you want to be because you can forget everything that happened. It is important to try to maintain a routine, which is motivated by getting up about the same time everyday. Allow yourself to get about 7-9 hours of sleep every night.

Maintain a routine. Your life is a lot different now without your loved one. Maybe you go to work and you might find that on work days you feel a little bit more normal. It’s a familiar routine, you know what to do, and you’re probably not used to having your loved one there. However, it’s the time you spend between work and going to sleep and on the weekends that can be the hardest. You don’t have to be strict with yourself, but having some parameters like “Take a shower every day and “Try to eat something at regular meal times”. In addition try, “Go to the grocery store on Saturday morning” and “Go for a walk with the neighbor on Sunday evening.” They can be helpful reference points when you may otherwise feel lost.

Allow yourself to feel bad. Everyone wants you to feel better, because you matter to them and they love you. They don’t know what to do to help you, and that is painful for them. So let yourself feel sad, play that song that reminds you of your loved one and have a good cry. Here’s the thing though - put a time limit on it. Set an hour each day at a certain time where you let yourself feel these painful feelings. Not that you won’t be feeling bad the rest of the time, it’s just the rest of the time you will be doing the things that are a part of your routine, like making meals, exercising, reading a book, searching the internet, taking a bath, journaling, and talking to friends.

Everyone is writing their own book on grief. There is no one way to grieve, just like there is no one way to love. Take all advice, even this advice, as a suggestion about what might be helpful. You’re writing your own book for you and your grief. Trying out different suggestions will just give you more information about what works and what doesn’t work for you. And you will get better at grieving.

47 views0 comments
bottom of page