Coping With Grief Effectively

post traumatic stress symptoms

How long does grief last? How shall you cope grief till it’s over?
For some experts in grief, normal grieving is believed to last a period of 6 to 12 months but expected to go beyond in extreme cases. Well, according to the findings by a Yale study, some people grief for 24 months and beyond, and it is quite normal.

Whichever the period, each individual has their own unique time for grieving which should be respected. For that matter, there is never a specified period for one to grieve, you should therefore not be hard on yourself but go your natural way.

How then, shall you manage grief?

Reading funeral poems.

Reading poems assists in the process of grieving due to the ability of the poems to perform a number of functions,
 They help in comforting and consoling the bereaved- death is not easy to talk about, and so is giving assurance to those left behind. These poems employ the use of soothing words from experienced people who have gone through or have had an exposure to what grieving is all about.

 They are a source of encouragement- getting back on one’s two feet takes time and requires an extra push. funeral poems come handy by explaining the prospect of meeting the deceased one day when we join them in the after-life. Another beautiful source of encouragement comes from the fact that these poems are written by mere people who triumphed over grief giving us the hope that we too can do it.

 They celebrate the deceased- these poems capture the memories of the times once shared with the deceased. In coping with grief, one has to manage walking through the memory lane with ease, something that these poems will do on a light note using the right words, with focus on the achievements of the deceased, making one see that their death is not in vain.

 They nourish one’s spirituality- the death of a loved one causes such despair, so much that at times, it makes us question our faith. But at the end of the day, our spirituality is a stronghold which gives us unexplainable peace of mind. These funeral poems will bring you back on course by giving back the assurance that God still reigns even in death, which was His will, that He has everything in control, and so in due time, things will be okay. He will heal us of this unbearable pain.

The Holy Bookshop has a great collection of religious funeral poems great for this role. There are also beautiful non-religious funeral poems that will still connect to your emotions and give you the calmness so desired.

 They can be dedicated to the deceased- death leaves so many gaps that we might never actually fill. It leaves us with so many unanswered questions. These poems cover these questions, which you can read to the deceased- we might never get factual and direct answers, but rest assured in the satisfaction derived from the angle that at least we spoke out our feelings, which they heard. A problem shared is a problem half solved, the therapy behind saying what one feels.

These poems, available as funeral poems, are usually selected based on the relationship one had with the deceased. We have the best collection of the following funeral poems at the Holy Bookshop, which is further classified as either long funeral poems or short funeral poems.

Funeral poems for mum
funeral poems for dad
Funeral poems for husband
Funeral poems for wife
Funeral poems for son
Funeral poems for daughter
Funeral poems for brother
Funeral poems for sister
Funeral poems for aunt
Funeral poems for uncle
Funeral poems for niece
Funeral poems for nephew
Funeral poems for grandma
Funeral poems for grandpa
Funeral poems for friend
Funeral poems for colleague

If one has no idea as to which poems best suits them, you can base your search on the personality of the deceased. Were they spiritual? Were they funny? Were they jovial? How was life in their eyes? Or is there a poem that they loved that you know about?

Listening to music.

Music, just like poems, uses word therapy in dealing with grief. The difference is simply in the tunes from the instruments. You can perhaps select one of the funeral poems, add some tunes and come up with your own music to help you cope with the death of a loved on a personalized level.


There are cases when grief overwhelms people, calling for the involvement of professional counsellors to help restore things to normal following the demise of a dear one. Below are some of the key symptoms that might make one consider counselling,

 Where you feel the strong need to keep to yourself as opposed to staying around others, one feels they don’t get enough support from the people around them.

 When you don’t have the urge to pursue the activities that would otherwise be your best.

 When someone thinks about suicide

 When grieving causes disruption to your normal routines, perhaps a your place of work or school, how you relate to those around you or your life as a whole.

 When a person has to rely on drugs, prescribed or non-prescribed, and things like alcohol as a way of dealing with the pain.

 When your body displays signs or symptoms of physical ill health like persistent headaches, palpitations, joint, and chest pains as a result of losing a dear one.

 When a person displays the symptoms of grief to an extreme level, for instance, fear, depression, or hopelessness.

Joining support groups.

Such groups comprised of individuals who not only understand grief but are ready to help each other overcome the entire process. They are very ideal, where for one reason or another, someone lacks the support required of family and the society at large.

Herein, one gets to learn from others with similar grieving problems and acquire more skills and mechanisms of copying as they journey through the healing process.

Setting up an ongoing relationship with the deceased
There are a number of things that can be done to achieve this, some of which are suggested below,
 Visiting their favourite places.
 Listening to the music they loved
 Watching movies they liked
 Preparing and eating their favourite foods.
 Holding memorial services.
 Setting up memorial funds.
 Having people named after the deceased.
 Adopting a child in their honour.
The above mentioned will help to ensure a continuous relationship with the deceased while filling the gap caused by their demise.

How long a person grieves is dependent on a number of factors, thereby making the period for grieving unpredictable.
A personality of the grieving individual
It is human nature to react differently to varying situations. Some people take time to come to reality with this loss while others do it fast enough, and so is it with similarly learning to cope with it.

Extroverts will overcome grief easily compared to introverts- extroverts easily talk about their feelings which are required in recovering from grief whereas introverts keep their emotions to themselves instead of expressing it thereby intensifying the pain being felt.

As a result, introverts also do not get a chance to learn about the mechanisms implied by others to help in coping with grief.
Another aspect of one’s personality is their physical or mental state at the time of the death of a loved one. Were they sick, depressed, involved with the abuse of drugs or alcohol? Someone in a sober physical or mental state grieves better off than people in the said conditions.

The type of relationship one had with the deceased.

For instance, grieving the loss of a parent, child, sibling or grandparent is not comparable to grieving the loss of a colleague, friend, cousin, aunt or uncle. The bond in the latter forms of relationship is stronger making the grieving process cumbersome.
In general, how you feel about the deceased, how frequently you saw or interacted to them, how close they were to you, and their relation to you all contribute to how long one grieves over their death. Where your life was greatly influenced by the deceased, the period taken to grieve may be prolonged.

Where there was any type of unresolved issues with the deceased, grieving may also take a longer period. One needs scopes of coping with the resulting pain and a form of closure for the pending issues, quite difficult to achieve with the other party not being able to relay their emotions to make the two of you come to a mutual understanding. This may call for professional help to the bin to an end in the long term.

One’s culture.

Adhering to one’s cultural beliefs and practices gives some sense of belonging, security, and fulfilment.
Culture and death go alongside each other- death will bring about pain, confusion and chaos, while culture has set practices that should be adhered to in order to restore normalcy.

The cultural set up affects grieving, whereby each has its own rituals and belief regarding death. For instance, the belief that crying is a show of weakness makes one hold tears back, which interferes with grieving by prolonging it- a person, therefore, has to repress their emotions instead of letting them out. The reverse of silently weeping is also there in cultures where people are expected to wail, if not cry, over the death of a loved one. This would be controversial to someone who would rather silently unwind their pain.

Some communities have their cultures shaped by their religious practices, especially where its people are of the same faith. Thus, as a result of believing in the afterlife beyond death, they find death quite bearable.

Some cultures are of the belief that a person turns into a spirit after death, thereby becoming omnipresent amongst them, and being their constant protector. With this attitude, it is much easier to cope with the death of someone dear.

Whether or not this coping with grief is being experienced for the first time or otherwise- a person who has experienced the death of someone before might have prolonged grieving period as the current grieving situation only serves to awaken the healed wounds- they now have two running traumas to deal with. It even becomes worse if the previous loss was not mourned or grieved properly.

Cause of death- was this death sudden, expected, violent, or just how was it? People who grief following preparedness for the death of a loved one, like in case of a terminal illness, are not extremely affected like in cases of sudden death of a loved one like an accident. Some types of death may bring one a relief while others throw them into trauma.

A person needs to understand the cause of death of a dear one to be able to unblock the process of mourning and commence picturing life beyond the death of a loved one. Failure to this will result to prolonged grieving as a result of the guilt of not being good enough to honour their loved through discovering the reasons behind their death, leave alone no being able to prevent it too.

The people surrounding the bereaved.

Much as the bereaved is the driver behind their healing process, and as ambiguous as it sounds, they will highly influence how long one manages grief. Their influence can make or break the bereaved. One need to surround themselves with people who understand the scope of pain underlying the loss of a dear one.

People who behave like losing someone is similar to any other loss like that of a job or pet will chock you with the timeframe to come out of it quick. This makes someone slowly writhe in pain inside in the prolonged term. They will make you feel guilty for coping with grief as per yourself, something that causes a disruption to the natural grieving time.


Goes without saying that adults know how to manage and cope with their emotions than kids. An elderly person has experienced far much more situations, both happy and sad, and equally mastered ways of going about them.


Not being melodramatic, but men handle their emotions better than women. This myth also surrounds the grieving process. Women have a tendency to grieve for longer periods naturally compared to the way men do.

Symptoms of grief.

A report regarding this was published by JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association), in the year 2007, following findings by Yale researchers, that on average, the grief symptoms were most felt within the first 6 months, and gradually faded within the year. The process of grieving comes to term once a person makes resolutions on how they will go about living their lives without the deceased.

These may be referred to as 5 stages of grief by others. The first people to propose the stages theory in grieving following the loss of a loved one were Bowlby and Parkes, termed ‘The Bowlby and Parkes Theory’, which only recognized 4 of the stages, namely, shock, yearning, disorganization, and reorganization. This was taken up by Kubler-Ross, in his explanation of the stages in response to the awaiting fate of the terminally ill patients- he polished them to 5 stages.

The stage theory of grieving ha since gained popularity and is now used in explaining a wide scope where the loss is concerned to include even divorce or loss of a job. But what remains uncertain to date is the sequence for the mentioned stages
 Disbelief
 Yearning
 Anger
 Depression
 Acceptance

All in all, death can never be anticipated or well prepared for. The best thing is to understand that it is okay to grieve, and to do it as per your pace regardless! This is the only sure way to learn how to live with the loss of a dear one. The Holy Bookshop has a collection of funeral poems, bereavement poems, and memorial poems that will be very helpful on your way to recovery.

Michael Grover

Following the death of my Mother, I decided to make this website. I found it difficult at the time to express the correct words to say at the service. However, I stumbled across an immediate download (available here) that enabled me to find truly memorable words.

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