Coping with grief

Different techniques can help you to process and move through your feelings of grief

There are different techniques you can try to help you cope with your feelings of grief. People will grieve differently and what worked for someone you know will not necessarily work for you.


Allow yourself to cry when you feel the need. It is a normal response to intense feelings. Crying can activate responses in your body that allow it to rest and digest. A good cry can be soothing.

Don’t worry if you are unable to cry. You may worry that not being able to cry means you aren’t bothered by the loss but this isn’t the case. Not everyone responds to loss in the same way. There are other ways that you can process your loss and soothe yourself, including

  • Meditation or prayer
  • Bonding with a pet
  • Massage and alternative therapies

If you feel your lack of tears means other people aren’t showing you the care and support that you need, talk to them about how you are feeling.

Spending time alone

The stillness and quiet of being on your own allows you to acknowledge and experience the feelings that you experience after a loss. Taking time to acknowledge and sit quietly with your loss is a necessary step to healing. You may find it helpful to

  • Think through memories of your loved one
  • Meditate or pray
  • Write or draw
  • Read poems or essays about grief and healing

While solitude can help you cope with grief, withdrawing from the company of others entirely may be a sign that you’re experiencing complicated grief.

Spending time with others

You may find it helpful to spend time with people who share your loss. Keep the people you love close.

  • Spend time with loved ones – grieve with others who share your loss, lean on friends and family for help with the practical side of dealing with a loss, like closing accounts and sorting out belongings.
  • Build a support team – let people know if you need support, whether that’s your friends, colleagues, community support or professional help.
  • Remember your loved one – think about how you can remember your loved one. You could plant a tree, put together a photo album or hold a commemoration of celebration of their life
  • Get professional help – your GP can talk to you about how you’re feeling, as well as the physical and mental health impacts of grief. They may have a counselling service you can use and know about local support groups. They can provide medication if you need this to sleep or deal with symptoms of depression.

There are specialist organisations who can support you through your bereavement.

Want to find support to help cope with grief?

Click here for information on support services across Northern Ireland.