31 Aug  

8 Ways to Manage Milestones After Losing a Loved One

Honoring special holidays, moments and anniversaries during the years after losing a loved one can be painful and full of mixed emotions, but they can also be a comforting remembrance as well. Navigating them can be difficult so do what you need to do to get through these challenging days. Think of this as a time to honor your loved one, and a time to reflect, grieve and celebrate their life.

Here are some coping strategies that can help you through these milestones:

  1. Think about how your loved one might choose to celebrate the milestone and blend these ideas into the day of the event.
  2. Don’t be afraid to express your emotions. Talk to friends and family about it and accept any support they offer. Sometimes, talking to others can make it easier to deal with this difficult day.
  3. List all the blessings in your life and savor them. This will help you see how truly blessed you are, even with this loss and grief.
  4. If you decide to do something privately on the milestone day then pamper yourself with some activity that makes you feel good. If you surround yourself with family and friends, then find a way to come together in celebration, enjoy their company and discuss the importance of this day.
  5. Be patient with yourself, as you are to others. Everyone grieves in different ways and across different lengths of time so give yourself this time to grieve.
  6. Journal about your feelings and how you are progressing through your grief. This can help you see how far you’ve come in healing.
  7. Look to where you can make decisions to take control of things in your life. Taking control can strengthen us, help build our confidence and enable us with a sense of purpose.
  8. Be sure to eat properly, get enough sleep and regularly exercise. Stress and depression can negatively affect our bodies and taking care of yourself physically can help take care of yourself emotionally, too.

Sometimes the stress of anticipating a milestone can often be worse than the day itself. The important thing is to do what feels right to you, whether that means keeping your celebration private or sharing it with others. Professional resources can also be useful in coping with grief and anniversaries such as a bereavement support group. To learn more about our grief support services, call 215-927-5800.

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