Sad old man sitting in leather chair looking at tablet

Death —  It’s one of the hardest inevitabilities of life that everyone has to deal with at some point. It differs as far as the when, where and how goes, but one thing remains the same about it no matter who you are: it is never, ever an easy thing to deal with.

Grief is something that will always come with it. How it manifests may differ from person to person, but the struggle is always very real.

Fortunately, despite the obstacles that may arise, there are also many ways to handle an end of life experience.

How Does Grief Manifest Itself?

Grieving is a very normal, healthy process. However, sometimes it can manifest in some unhealthy ways, and it’s important to be able to identify them.

Social Withdrawal

Maybe you’re tired of seeing all the other sad faces. Maybe you’re tired of all of the pity, or the offers of sympathy. Maybe you just plain don’t want to be around people because it hurts too much.

Agitation and Irritability

Sometimes you might notice your patience is thinner when it comes to dealing with things. Or you might even notice you become downright aggressive over the smallest things.

Restlessness

There’s just so much to do, and not enough at the same time. It’s normal to want to keep busy, because if you’re on the go, then you’re thinking about everything except the thing that’s hurting you most at the moment.

Change in Appetite

Whether you find yourself binging or without any desire to eat at all, a change in your normal eating habits is a big sign you’re working through a grieving process.

Paranoia

It seems irrational, and it is, but when death has affected you and it’s at the forefront of your mind, sometimes you start unintentionally looking for it everywhere. Because one person that mattered to you has died, you start worrying about all of the other important people in your life.

Change in Sleep Patterns

Some nights, you can’t seem to sleep no matter what. Or maybe it seems like all you do anymore is sleep. Either end of the spectrum is unhealthy, and is not only a manifestation of grief, but also depression.

Oversensitivity and Overstimulation

Everything is too bright, too loud, too much. It might feel like you just can’t handle everything going on around you, and that the world is moving on too fast without you.

Numbness

On the other hand, you might have trouble feeling anything at all. Food doesn’t quite taste right, or may seem flavorless. Feelings might seem muted or even absent, and sensations can seem far away. You’re a part of the world, but at a distance.

Nightmares

During grieving, your brain is trying to process and accept a huge change in your life. It should come as no surprise, then, that grief can manifest in this less than pleasant form of dreaming.

How to Cope With Grief

Now that you know some of the ways that grief can manifest, here are some ways to deal with it.

Reach Out

You are not alone. No matter what, never, ever forget this. Even if it seems this way, there is always someone that can help you. Whether it’s another family member, a friend, a significant other, or a trained professional, there are people in your life that will be more than willing to help you.

Do not isolate yourself. It’s easy to do, and while it’s okay to take some time to process things, don’t cut yourself off from the people that care about you. Get help.

Find Hobbies

Find things that you enjoy doing that will help take your mind off of things when it feels like everything is just getting to be too much. Some hobbies also have the added benefit of helping you keep social.

Some examples include:

  • Writing
  • Knitting
  • Reading
  • Cooking
  • Learn a musical instrument
  • Hiking
  • Book clubs
  • Sports
  • Board games
  • Online gaming

No matter what you decide, make sure it’s something that you enjoy, and that makes you happy.

Grieve Your Own Way

Everyone is different. Some people take more time than others. Grieving is not a linear path — one day it may seem like you’re over everything, only to have a breakdown the next. Do not let anyone tell you to move on when you aren’t ready, but also don’t let anyone hold you back when you feel the time is right. You decide this.

The biggest thing to keep in mind is there are no rules when it comes to grieving. However, you do need to remember that while it might hurt more than anything that someone is gone, you are still here, and you have to be able to live your life without them. Recognizing grief, accepting it for what it is and then coping will help you do that.

Omni Care Hospice is a provider of compassionate, quality home hospice care in Las Vegas that meets the needs of people with life-limiting illnesses and their families.