“I’m sorry, it’s bad news”, that is the sentence that nobody wants to hear, unfortunately I’ve heard it quite a few times recently, my family has been hit hard with cancer. I’ve lost two of my aunts to cancer in the previous years, recently this year I lost another one of my aunts to cancer again and as if it wasn’t bad enough another two of my aunts was diagnosed with cancer. We’ve got a very big family so even though there is loads of us, we are all extremely close, always there for one another, and making sure were are fully supporting each other. My nan was 1 of 7 and my grandad was 1 of 4 so I’ve got a few aunts and uncles. I’ve heard the word cancer too many times now, there is only so many times you can hear it before it becomes unreal, after losing three aunts to the evil disease and now two of my aunts diagnosed with the big C, it almost seems like I’m in a nightmare and can’t wait to wake up.
Dealing with grief can be hard, and I’ve learnt now how to handle it, it’s always upsetting when it happens but it’s life, I used to want to push the idea away and act like death wasn’t a thing and pretend it never happened but recently I’ve realised I’ve got this look on life as if to say, “if it’s going to happen it will happen, you can’t do anything about it.” There are so many ways to cope with the hard hitting news, I’m going to tell you what I do to help honour my loved ones memory, I don’t want this post to be morbid or upsetting to anyone, I just want to be able to help someone out if they are struggling to cope with a loved ones loss.
I’m an anxiety sufferer so when I got the news of loss in my family it hit my mental health hard, I shut down at first I wasn’t sure how to cope, and the one thing I turned to when I wasn’t sure what to do was hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy has helped me with my anxiety in the past it has been a blessing and when I felt myself spiralling after receiving the bad news I knew it was the one thing that would teach me how to cope, so I was taught breathing techniques and even meditation and how to remember my loved one in a good light rather than being angry at the world for taking them from me.
The main thing I like to do is honour your loved ones memory, you could do this in multiple ways; pictures. I like to make an album of all the nice pictures of my aunts, when they were smiling, remembering the good memories that we all shared, and having this album means that whenever I am feeling down and missing them I can open up the photo album and smile at the good memories that we made. Another idea I love is planting a flower or a tree, I like to plant a flower in honour of them because then for me it feels like a part of them is living on, and is always there. It almost feels like they are at peace and happy that even though they are gone they are still with you in some form.
Don’t be scared to let it out, the worst thing to do is bottle it up, the more you bottle the emotion up the worse it gets because it will eventually bubble over and all come out at once and it isn’t nice trust me. don’t feel pressured, I know some people in my family that felt like they had to be strong for other people and it made it worse for them because it stopped them from grieving and that’s an important part of the process, you need to give yourself time to grieve, be emotional if you want to, cry if you need to, no one will judge you they will understand. It’s completely normal.
And finally don’t stop your normal daily routine, sometimes when a loved one passes we stop because we are not sure how to carry on our daily lives as we are so use to having our loved ones with us that it almost feels wrong to go about it without them, they wouldn’t want you to stop anything, they would want you to carry on, that trip to to the shops, I know it’s hard, the first time always is hard but once you’ve done it gets a bit easier each time.
And remember there is always someone there if you want to chat, a member of your family will always be there for you if you feel like all you need is cup of tea and a chat, so tell them to put the kettle on, get the photo album and the digestives out and have good old walk down memory lane.