Published on Huffington Post

One of the arguably hardest things that someone is faced with is the loss of a loved one. Death is an inevitable and natural occurrence. Death... the word is so harsh and final. At any age the loss of someone is a difficult thing to process and grasp. If death is an inescapable natural occurrence why is it so feared... possibly because of the unknown or is it possibly because of the people who are left behind. 

I unfortunately have had to deal with the loss of loved ones on a normal occurrence since I was 10 years of age, when I was brought into the world of an oncology patient. Dealing with the loss of many close friends and family over the years, I have been able to change my perspective. 

The hardest death that I have had to deal with was the loss of my grandfather. His death was so unexpected. I remember the day he died so vividly, my family crowded around his hospital bed and I held him in my arms hugging him as he took his last breath. My grandfather was one of the people whom I looked up to most, he was my best friend, confidante and someone I could always count on! All that being said, I took his death pretty hard, and it took me a while to adapt to his absence. It’s been over three years and I still miss him dearly. 

How do you move on from a loss? I can’t say there is a definitive way, each person’s relationships differ from each other and so will there coping mechanisms. One of today’s greatest authors John Green wrote, “Funerals are for the Living.” That quote from John Green could not be anymore true. There is no denying that losing someone you love is difficult and a challenging thing to deal with. I hope that by reading this article you are able to gain a new perspective and possibly use some of the grief mechanisms to overcome and cope.

So how do you cope and move on? I want to share with you a few of the ways my perspective of loss has changed and how I cope in hopes that it could help you deal with the unexplainable.

Celebrate the life they led: One of my coping mechanisms is to think of funerals not as the end of someone’s life but rather as a celebration of the life they led and the impact they had made on others. Every person you meet on earth is someone you can learn something from, think back and reflect on all the lessons your loved ones had taught you. 

Honor their memory: Just because they are not here in a physical sense any longer doesn’t mean that their impacts on the earth have to go with them. If there is something that your loved one taught you or some way big or small you are able to honor their memory they will never be forgotten. Whether you use a phrase they used, live a lesson they taught you or start a charity in their honor, you are allowing their memory to stay alive. 

Talk to someone. As much as you may think talking it out would make matters worse it may help you. Talking about how you are feeling whether it is sadness, confusions, anger or anything at all talking to someone who you trust may allow you to set free your emotions as well as show you that its normal to feel that way and that the people around you are going through the same things. 

Allowing yourself to feel the emotions and grief. We are humans, we all have emotions that can sometimes be consuming and that is okay. When dealing with grief it is normal and okay to experience overwhelming emotions. Just know that there are people you can talk to and people are there who understand and want to help you. Life is constant, there is no denying that losing someone you love is difficult and a challenging thing to deal with. 

I hope that by reading this article you are able to gain a new perspective and possibly share some of the grief mechanisms to overcome and cope.

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This post is part of Common Grief, a Healthy Living editorial initiative. Grief is an inevitable part of life, but that doesn’t make navigating it any easier. The deep sorrow that accompanies the death of a loved one, the end of a marriage or even moving far away from home, is real. But while grief is universal, we all grieve differently. So we started Common Grief to help learn from each other. Let’s talk about living with loss. If you have a story you’d like to share, email us at strongertogether@huffingtonpost.com.