How to cope with the first month following loss

Hello everyone!

Loss is a part of life, but it’s never easier when such an event occurs. Losing those we were close to, related to, or appreciated is never easy, be that a partner, friend, loved one, relative, or colleague. Depending on the proximity and how tied your lives were the loss can feel awful or potentially turn your daily experience upside down.

One of the main considerations to keep in mind is that while grief may never fully go away, you can learn to deal with it and live with it. This is something almost everyone has to contend with at some point or another, and so luckily, wonderful help is out there for you.

Woman Wearing Black Camisole
Image credit

I would like to humbly offer this post as part of that. Grief and loss are huge subjects, and so I'm going to limit myself to the first month following such an experience. While I won’t give you a day-by-day schedule, as that would be a little too prescriptive, you can rest in some of these insights and hopefully find a little more peace of mind with them.

With that in mind, let’s begin:

Don’t force your emotions

It’s very, very easy to think that you should be an emotional wreck after a loss. Sometimes, however, our bodies and minds respond with a sense of numb concern. This can be confusing for most people. If you lose someone and you find yourself not crying but simply with a knot in your stomach, does that mean you care less about them than you thought about them? Absolutely not. Loss can be a shock, and it can take a little time for our emotions to develop and to understand them. Processing may even take a year or more. 

Don’t feel like you have to force your entire arc of shock, sadness, anger, bargaining, unhappiness, and gentle recovery to close in a month. This can be the work of quite some time, and you need to give yourself space to feel it.

Work on the memorial

Having an organisational task can be constructive for some people. It allows them to focus on what’s in front of them, taking one step at a time, instead of getting lost in rumination and making themselves feel worse. Does that mean people who need time alone to process their emotions are just self-pitying and need to get out more? Of course not, that would be a gross misreading of how loss works.

That being said, it really can help to not detach or isolate yourself. Working, perhaps with the support of your family, on the upcoming funeral with a funeral directing service, investing in great looking memorial rocks from and other mementoes to help you remember them, taking out old pictures of you together and framing them - all of this can help you work on the memorial in the best way.

Ask for leave where appropriate

If you speak to your boss and talk about the loss you’ve suffered, you may be able to take time off on compassionate grounds. Sure, this might not be official leave as per bereavement policy, but most managers will understand that working isn’t necessarily your best option right now and will let you take a little time. 

This can differ depending on where you work, and how close the relative is. However, it’s best to be clear about this from the off and not just assume you have to keep up with everything, no questions asked. Our emotions can work in odd ways, and you might find that burying yourself in work, despite our recommendation to try and be productive above, can be the opposite side of the spectrum in not dealing with this process well. Give yourself room to breathe, it will really help.

Simplify your life

It’s hard to talk about this unless you’ve experienced it, but those who have will understand the truth behind the following words: emotional turbulence can be tiring. More so than you may imagine. It can lead you to need more sleep, to feel ennui when you usually wouldn't, and to need to take a break from usual activities like going to your sports club or socialising as often as you might.

Again, don’t disconnect, but don’t be afraid to simplify for a little while either. Perhaps you’ll just switch to reading at home with a mug of tea on a weekend night instead of hitting the town with a friend, or perhaps your birthday is coming up and you’ll just have a relatively low-key event this time around. Simplification is easier to process, and when you have fewer spinning plates in your life, you can more easily process the difficulty of being human at an unfortunate time. Sometimes, that’s all you have to be.

Be honest with yourself

It’s easy to brush how you’re feeling under the rug, especially if we have to put on a brave face for our children or for those we love to help with the organisational effect. This will be most apparent in the first month after losing someone close to you because the difficulty is still raw and will require a careful outlook.

But it’s important to be honest with yourself if you can. Don’t dismiss how you feel or any offers of help from those you could really use the help of. This will allow you to avoid black-or-white thinking, such as assuming you should either be functional or not, or that grief doesn’t manifest itself in various ways.

Perhaps you’ll take a day off work if you need it, or not be afraid to seek some counsel from your doctor if you find yourself in need of medical care. Little decisions like this can help you subdue the worst impact of grief - the impact we unnecessarily put ourselves through. This can help you with your peace of mind, even during a tougher time.

With this advice, I hope you can better cope with the first month despite experiencing loss.

Thank you for reading, and until next time, take care.



I'm a vegan with a passion for sustainability and clean, cruelty-free products. I mainly write lifestyle, wellness and self-care articles. Since I'm a true crime enthusiast, sometimes I also write about true crime and post videos on my two YouTube channels.

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! If you ask a question I will answer it asap. – Cosette

Previous Post Next Post

Looking For Something?

Contact Form