Grief doesn't come with an instruction book. The death of someone you love leaves you feeling as if you are completely on your own, trying to make sense of your life. There are many ways to grieve, and no loss is ever exactly like any other. The errors we may make after the death of someone dear can complicate or prolong an already difficult process. Here are a few steps to help you avoid some of those errors.
Try not to numb the pain. As days go by and you are left alone with a painful hole in your heart, it hurts and you want it to stop. You want to regain the numbness that carried you through the first awful days. You can numb the pain by keeping so busy that you don't have time to think. You can do everything and anything to keep from being alone with your thoughts. Some people even go so far as to recreate the numbness with drugs or alcohol. If you were to go through physical therapy, you would expect to feel some pain before you felt better. The same is true of grief. Feeling the pain is a necessary step to accepting the reality of your loss and beginning to heal.
Don't let yourself be rushed. People tell you that time will heal, but that is only partly true. Time along doesn't heal; it's how you use the time that brings peace. Most people say it takes them a least a year to let the reminders of the past pass without intense grief, longer if they were still numb the first time around. Keep in mind that grief will take as long as it needs to take.
There is no need to go it along. Bereaved people often find themselves isolated. Find someone who is willing to listen, perhaps someone who has suffered a similar loss. Or, consider joining a support group. It may take a few tries to find one in which you feel comfortable, but finding the support you need is well worth the effort.