After losing a loved one, there’s no need to go looking for reminders of them. These reminders are all around you, showing up in expected and unexpected ways. A song they loved comes on the radio . . . Their favorite bird rests on a branch outside your window . . . Their birthday or a special anniversary rolls around . . . It doesn’t take much for memories of the past to come roaring back. Sometimes, this can bring with it a feeling of warm and sentimentality. Other times, more painful feelings arise.

Thankfully, there are ways to cope. To help our neighbors in El Cerrito, Richmond, and the Bay Area who are grieving a loved one, our compassionate staff at Sunset View Cemetery has some advice for those times you feel like all you can do is think about the person you miss.

Embrace and express the range of emotions you are feeling.

When feelings of sadness come on, it’s tempting to ignore or avoid them by distracting yourself and staying busy. However, it’s scientifically proven that stifling emotions can have many harmful effects on the mind and body. expressing and releasing emotions as you feel them is a healthy way to move through grief. As painful as it might be, try to stay with the uncomfortable emotions as you feel them. To facilitate this, consider taking a gentle yoga class, starting a grief journal, or writing a letter to your loved one. Talking to a caring friend or joining a grief support group may also ease the emotional burden of grief.

Get ahead of reminders when you can.

If you know you’re coming up on an anniversary or birthday that will trigger thoughts of your loved one, plan an activity you enjoy or spend this time with a close friend you trust. This will keep you in the present so you’re not caught off guard or overwhelmed by your feelings.

Make a tangible memorial to your loved one.

Rather than trying to erase reminders of your loved one, it can be healing to set up an intentional memorial to them, whether it’s at your home or in another meaningful location. Plant a tree in their honor or create a memorial quilt from their clothing. You can also make a donation to a local charity in their name. These activities may help keep you focused on the present moment and give you a new tradition and way of remembering your loved one.

Ask for help when you need it.

If you’re struggling to cope with loss and feel your grief symptoms are worsening rather than improving, you might benefit from seeking professional help. Reach out to us today via phone or email.