Glenda Morrissey, a psychologist and owner of Morrissey Rehabilitation and Treatment Counselling, which has offices in Halifax, Truro and Amherst, offers the following tips on coping with grief and loss.

Hold on to a memory. It may help to carry something that reminds you of the person. This may be a piece of jewelry, a photo, or some other small memento.

Find sustenance for the soul. Your church, synagogue, mosque, or other faith community may offer services, resources, and support networks to help. You may want to look for a support group for people who are grieving and have suffered a similar loss. You may find comfort by connecting with other survivors through our online community, online peer support groups, or care groups.

Don't pretend you haven't experienced a loss.



Create a tribute. Light a candle, display a favorite photograph, or set a place at the dinner table to represent the missing loved one. Consider writing a letter to your loved one and about your special memories with that person.

Be gentle with yourself. Realize that familiar traditions, sights, smells, and even tastes, may be comforting, or may jolt your emotions. Be careful with your emotions and listen to yourself.

Let others know how you’re feeling. Friends and family want to help. Often they don’t know how. Let them know what helps you, and what doesn’t. Let them know what you would like them to do.

Don’t pretend you haven’t experienced a loss. Imagining that nothing has happened does not make the pain of losing a loved one go away. Even though memories may be painful, they can also be comforting. It is ok to talk with others about what you have lost, and what the person meant to you.

Keep busy. You don’t want to ignore your grief, but busy hands are often a relief. Getting out in the garden, washing the dog, knitting a scarf are all activities that you can do comfortably with little preparation.

Pay attention to your health. It’s often difficult for people who have experienced a recent loss to sleep. Make sure you get regular rest and drink lots of water. Do not over-indulge in sweets or alcohol. If you feel overwhelmed, talk with your medical care provider.

Allow yourself to laugh. Give yourself permission to feel joy as well as sadness. Don’t feel like you have to “be a certain way” because of your loss. Just be yourself.

Express your feelings. Bottling up your feelings may add to distress, not lessen it. To express your feelings, use your creativity to write a poem, talk with a supportive friend, create a painting, or pen a journal entry.