Getting back in the game after the loss of a loved one isn’t something easy. I have experienced this one first hand. Coping with grief is one of the hardest things to deal with. It’s usually a trying time especially if you feel if you could have done a little more, you could have saved the person who passed on.
A few years ago, I lost my big brother to cocaine addiction. He had been in and out of rehab for over 10 years. As a family, we had done all we could have. However, my dear brother kept falling off the wagon time after time.
Weeks before that fateful day, I think the signs that his addiction had taken over again is something the whole family missed. Yes, he would show up to family events. But then he always made an excuse to leave early. He seemed a bit off. But when asked, he would say that he was having some trouble at work and that is why he looked worn out. And whenever someone suggested that they wanted to visit, he would make up an excuse why he wasn’t home.
Suddenly, his phone was off for like 3 straight days. That was when it hit us that something was wrong. We went to his apartment but he wasn’t there. His workplace said they hadn’t seen him for a week now. Then came the devastating phone call. He had overdosed and was found at some alley. We were all shaken up. How were we going to move on from all this?
Coping with his death
This was the hardest time of my life. We grieved. Then after the wake came the reflection of days before his demise. Could I have done more? Why did I miss the signs?
One thing that helped me get back in the game was a support group I found in the church. Here, I got the chance to express my grief, anger and the guilt I felt. Eventually, I came to terms about the fact that there is nothing we could have done to save him. We had done all we could as a family. This last time, he had done a better job hiding the sad fact that he was back at it again.
Once I felt better, I decided to help the youth in talking about the dangers of drug use. I used his death to impact the lives of young people positively.
Recommendations by psychologists on getting back in the game
- Most psychologists recommend therapy if things are too much to cope with. Plus, if you find that you don’t have enough cash, look for a community center that has support groups. These help a lot as you can speak freely without the fear of what your family and friends might think of you.
- One thing they recommend is not to start abusing substances like alcohol to numb your pain. Allow yourself to feel bad and cry. It is the normal way of grieving.
- Throwing yourself into things that are productive is one great way to get back in the game. Take up volunteering. Taking up a hobby that will keep your mind off the loss of the loved one.
- Always remember to celebrate their lives. There are always great memories of them. Let those be the things you talk about them.