When grieving, a person may go through a myriad of emotions never felt before. Read further for the answers to the questions that these emotions might raise.

Following the loss of a loved one, there is a vile mixture of feelings tumbling around inside of us, a myriad of emotions that plague our heart and soul. It is not easy to shake these feelings of depression. The feelings of restlessness, loneliness, and anger that you feel may not go away as suddenly as they came. Many self-help books and articles tell us that it is normal to feel this way for up to several months.

What if I have had brief periods of depression and overwhelming loneliness for more than a year, is this normal?
Yes, depending on the relationship that you shared with your loved one, this can be very normal. There is no quick fix for the loss of a person who had a central place in your life, although grief therapy is helpful. The fact that we may feel this way for a year or more is simply an indication of the emptiness that this person’s death has left in our life. In this article you
will find a few questions and answers that a bereaved person may ask.

What if I still don’t feel like engaging in parties and celebration after a year or more, is this normal?
It is ok to do what “feels” right. By this, the author means that it is all right for the grief stricken person to decide not to partake in some family gatherings and parties with friends, especially those that stir up a lot of feelings of loneliness and loss. Many times your family and friends won’t understand, but do try to explain what you are feeling. By delving into our
reasons for not attending these parties and social gatherings, sometimes we are able to get to the source of our pain.

Why do I feel the need to exclude myself from family functions?
Perhaps we just feel better or safer at home. Maybe the person experiencing a loss feels that they would be bad company, or they may feel that they just can’t cope with the overwhelming emotions that they know will plague them during the event. Many times those that are dealing with the loss of a loved one are just unable to attend such gatherings because they are barraged with memories of the person that is now gone, and the fact that they are overcome by emotion makes them feel very vulnerable at these functions.

Another reason that bereaved persons shelter themselves from celebrations is to avoid the bittersweet memories that these social events bring. We remember just how happy we used to be at a family gathering, and now all we can feel is pain and loss. Remember to tell your loved ones how you feel, and also remember that these feelings are relatively normal.

Yes, it’s ok to do what “feels” right, even if that means staying home on Christmas Eve or not attending your cousin’s wedding. We must remember, though, not to exclude ourselves from our support network — the people that enable us to cope with our loss.

How can I find the road back from depression?
The best way to cope with feelings of depression and longing for your loved one is to stay busy. Keeping your mind and body occupied is really the best way to mend a tortured soul. The best medicine for grief is to keep an active schedule.

It is ok to delve into your work or family duties with a zest. It is a good idea to stay close to people that offer you support.

Take time for yourself. Get a facial. Play racquetball. Go to the gym or to the spa. Have a fun day of shopping, or spend a quiet day reading.

Keep a journal. Later you may be glad that you did. Sometimes writing helps a grief stricken person deal with their loss in a positive way.

Hopefully these questions and answers have helped you to look at yourself and your grief in a new light, helping you to cope with what is perhaps one of the hardest things a person has to experience, the death of someone that they love.

Good luck and may you find peace within yourself.