Recovering from grief by Rabbi Dr. Earl A. Grollman: Recommendations for adapting after the the difficult work of bereavement.
Someone you love very much has died. Part of you has been buried with your beloved. Pain and fear wash over you in waves. You may hurt so much that you may want to die, too. You wonder if you will ever survive.
Accept your grief: Expect the physical and emotional consequences of the death of your loved one. Grief is the price you pay for love.
Express your feelings: Don't mask your anguish. Cry when you have to, laugh when you can.
Be patient with yourself: Your mind and body and soul need time and energy to mend. Grief is like weeding a flower bed in the summer. You may have to do it over and over again until the seasons change.
Monitor your health: Eat as well as you can, for your body requires nourishment after the physically grueling experience of loss. Put balance back in your life with work and relaxation. Have a complete physical check-up and tell the physician about the events in your life. Remember drugs and alcohol conceal legitimate emotions and can create destructive problems, leaving the nervous system in shreds.
Share the pain of your loss with a friend or friends: Don't withdraw from others. By your silence you deny them the opportunity to share your inner self. Said Ralph Waldo Emerson: "A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere."
Join a group of others who are grieving: Learning about the experiences of others can offer invaluable insight into your own feelings with support, encouragement, and friendship.
Do what has to be done but delay major decisions: Begin with little things-a single chore that has to be accomplished. That can help you restore your confidence. But wait, if you can, before deciding to immediately sell your house or change jobs. Thomas Carlyle is correct: "Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance but what lies clearly at hand."
Help others: By devoting your energies to people and causes, you learn to better relate to others, face reality, become more independent, and let go of the past by living in the present. "Only the soul that knows the mighty grief can know the mighty rapture." (Edwin Markham)
Confront your own mortality: Now that you have encountered death, you will see life differently. Knowing how brief life can be, might encourage you to make life more meaningful for yourself and others.
Determine to live again: Grief is a process. Recovery is your choice. You have endured the worst kind of experience. You will survive. Life is for the living.