After the first few days of shock, grieving individuals often look for a sense of meaning, or other ways to stay busy, as they work through their loss. Try some of these activities to help you cope:
1. Create a Memorial. Depending on the circumstances and the person you may want to create a roadside memorial, a home shrine or a bulletin board filled with letters, notes, poems and pictures. You may decide to create a sculpture, a collage or fill a scrapbook with memories.
2. Help to plan and organize the funeral, memorial service, or celebration of life to honor the person who has died. Planning a service, tending to the details is something active to do, during a time when people often feel helpless.
3. Plant a tree or flowers in a garden in memory of the person lost.
4. Donate – money, time, food, clothing or other needed items — to a favorite charity, homeless shelter, animal shelter, hospice, or home for abused women.
5. Donate blood at your local blood center. Donating is another way of doing something active and giving something back.
6. Write sympathy and condolence notes, letters of encouragement and support to those affected by the loss.
7. Thank the emergency and hospital personnel, highway patrol, police and firefighters for helping if the loss involved an accident or emergency.
8. Be kind to others. Make space for the car merging in on the highway. Don’t use your horn unless it is absolutely necessary. Let someone with fewer items go first in the grocery store.
9. Volunteer your services or skills. Offer assistance to someone in need.
10. Perform random acts of kindness. This will help to remind one there is tenderness and thoughtfulness in the world. Pay the bridge toll for the person behind you. Smile at the store clerk. Some choose to perform random acts of kindness in memory of the person lost.
11. Do something that can benefit others. Take a first aid or CPR class.
12. Remember to tell your loved ones, friends and family how much you care about them, and tell them often.
13. Create a journal to write your thoughts or feelings down.
14. Listen to music. Create your own playlist of songs in tribute to your love one.
15. Exercise! This can be a tool for instrumental grievers to process their grief and sweat out their sadness.
16. Seek out a friend or counselor to talk to. Sometimes it helps to be able to verbalize our grief with others and get it out.