Coping When a Loved One Passes Away

Posted on February 12, 2018

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When a loved one passes away, there's no right way to feel, but there are things you can expect. Learn about what you may be feeling and how to cope. Read this.

When a loved one passes away, the feeling can be extra traumatic if you’re someone who struggles with depression. You feel the negative feelings start creeping back in, and find it hard to go through the motions of everyday life. After a couple days pass, you start to fear getting trapped in the dark hole of depression with no way out.

Feelings to Expect When a Loved One Passes Away

Everyone will experience their loss differently. Keep in mind that there is not a wrong way or a right way to feel.

You can expect feelings of shock, sadness, confusion, abandonment, or regret (When Grief Becomes a Mental Health Issue). While these feelings are completely normal, it’s important to remind yourself that no matter the circumstance of their death, it isn’t your fault.

Ways to Cope When Your Loved One Passes Away

Stay Present

Meditate, do yoga, or practice simple breathing exercises. Do your best to take each day as it comes. Let your feelings come and go naturally. It can be easy to get wrapped up in thoughts like, “I wish I would have told him how much I cared more often.” As humans, we naturally find ways to feel guilty. Chances are, no matter the circumstances, there will be things from the past you wish you could change. Instead, shift your focus to how you can strengthen your current relationships (Dealing with Feelings of Guilt and Shame When You’re Depressed).


Writing in a journal can be a great way to get your feelings out. You can use journal prompts or write out everything that you’re feeling. Doing so can help you work through your emotions more effectively.

Find Support

Talking to your friends, family, or a support group is a good way to work through what you’re feeling. While the people you talk to may not have any direct advice, talking to them and feeling supported will ultimately make you feel better.

Take Care of Yourself

Make sure you’re eating nutritious meals and exercising. Remember to do your regular daily activities such as showering and brushing your teeth. It’s not uncommon for some of these rituals to fall to the wayside, but do your best to focus on your self care.

For advice on what to avoid when experiencing the loss of a loved one, please watch the video below.

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Author: Brandy Eaklor

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