Top tips to deal with grief when it hits

YOU can't predict when grief will hit but I'm learning some of the best ways to help deal with the shock of losing a loved one.

I lost my 35-year-old brother to an aggressive bowel cancer just over six weeks ago.

While we all know there are stages of grief including denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, everyone deals with it differently.

I remember wondering why I wasn't crying my eyes out like others were at my own brother's funeral.

But after seeking help from a professional she said to me grief simply hit different people at different times.

It really hit me about four weeks after his death.

It was after things settled down.

We went from daily hospital visits for a bit over a week to having family around all the time and then I was back to work within a couple of weeks.

The psychologist gave me some good advice that I have found helpful during the stages of grief and I hope you do to.

It's just a few things I am finding have helped, but it's always important to seek professional advice when dealing with the pain of grief.

1. Write your loved one a letter with all the things they taught you, what you miss and some of the good memories you have.

2. When you're feeling upset, take a few deep breathes and go somewhere quiet to get your thoughts down on paper. Maybe it's a special memory of your loved one or just simply how you're feeling.

3. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself time to process your loss rather then getting too busy too fast (I made this mistake).

4. Don't ignore the pain of grief and build your pain up within but instead ride the challenging waves and express your sorrow to others.

5. Don't feel guilty when you have a good day, your loved one wouldn't want anything less.

If you need help call a local psychologist or call Beyond Blue Support Service on 1300 224 636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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