Learning to Cope on International Widow Day

The loss of a loved one can be a heart-breaking process which can take weeks, months and years to come to terms with. When people are grieving they go through a process called bereavement, this is a time where the individual spends time to adjusting to loss. It is a time where an individual learns to cope with their grief. Each individual deals with bereavement differently and no two losses are the same however it is said that there certain stages of bereavement.

The stage of bereavements:


1) Shock and Denial – This stage will involve you being in denial at the death of your loved one. You may become very overwhelmed which can leave you in a state of shock. This may be a stage where you become very closed and low about the loss.

2) Pain and guilty – This stage will involve you being upset at what has happened and you will begin to question what you could have done to prevent the death and that you are in some way at fault. This may involve going over situations in your mind and replaying what has happened over and over again.

3) Anger – This stage may involve you becoming very angry about what has happened. This may involve you blaming others for the death or being unable to control how you feel about the loss.

4) Depression and loneliness- This stage is when you feel very alone and lonely. You feel misunderstood and isolated. You may try to reminisce the good times and feel as though life will be impossible without the loss of your loved one.

5) Acceptance – This stage will involve you realising what has happened, and beginning to accept that nothing can be done to get the person back and that at some point the pain will fade.

6) Moving on – This is a stage where you acknowledge and realise that the loss has occurred, you accept the changes which have occurred and will continue in your life but you find yourself able to give the loss a place and move on.


Sometimes it can feel like you are stuck in a sad and lonely place where you find it impossible to move on from what has happened. So if you get into a low place where you feel no one understands it is important to realise there are a lot of people and organisations who can help you.

There are various different types of therapies which may help you such as: Cognitive behavioural therapy, talking therapy, and specific bereavement therapy. However you may feel that you are not ready for therapy or that at this time you do not find it appropriate in which case here are some of our tips to help you cope.

– Talk to a friend.

– It is OKAY to cry! Let your emotions out, it will allow your body to release negative tensions

– Take your time, this can include time off work

– Make sure you get out of the house and try to live a relatively normal life

– Exercise ( it will help clear your mind)

– If you are ready go to support groups or group therapy

– Know that you are not alone and that there is a supportive community out there for you

– Check out local charities which specialise in helping individuals going through bereavement.

-Do not rush. Let bereavement run its course.

– If you feel yourself becoming more and more down go to a doctor, they may prescribe you some medication or therapy

“time is a healer” is often a quote used… time will not always heal the loss but time will help you learn to live with what has happened and allow you to live a happy and fulfilling life.


-Saskia Castelijn