In the wake of the suicide of my ex-manager, I decided to talk about it with my friend Michelle who’s a counsellor. She gave some useful advice about dealing with grief and I thought I’d share it here.
1. Talking and remembering the friend
As I walked away from temple where the wake was held, my ex-colleague and I talked about how surprised we were at the sudden death. Then we reminisced about the good times we used to share with him. His cheerful disposition. How hard he worked. The end-of-term meals he cooked for us. Because he’s gone so suddenly it’s hard to believe that it’s true and talking helped me process things a bit better.
2. Don’t suppress your emotions
That night, I cried myself to sleep. Okay I didn’t, after sometime, I actually got up and played my guitar to distract myself. It wasn’t really just his death that triggered my floodgates but a confluence of factors. But Michelle said that we shouldn’t suppress our emotions. I guess crying is healthy. So is being sad. We don’t have to feel obliged to put on a happy front. After all, someone close has died, it’s alright to be upset about it.
3. Find support
To fully recover from the death of a parent or spouse takes a whole 2 years. As he was a colleague, we were not as close, but it would still take some time to get over this. Finding support is essential. Having a listening ear from a friend or a family member, in my case Michelle and my sister respectively, allows me to share the burden with.
4. Understand the stages of grief and don’t attempt to skip them
There are 7 stages of grief and one usually has to go through them before full recovery takes place. We often attempt to jump from the Stage 1 of shock straight to Stage 7 of acceptance and hope, bypassing the other stages but that’s not helpful.
I’ve included a chart from Social Work Tech and you can click on the link to find out more.
Image taken from: http://www.socialworktech.com/2012/11/13/the-seven-stages-of-grief/
I hope this was helpful. Take care my friends.