When a loved one passes away after a battle with cancer, the grief can be nearly impossible to face. Although people react differently to grief, shock, numbness, and sadness are common feelings among those struggling to cope.
As you work through your grief, it’ll be important to have a space where you can feel comfortable and at ease. If you’re like most people, that space will be in the comfort of your own home. Keep reading for some tips on how to make your home a safe space for grief.
Keep Sentimental Items Close
While grieving, you may begin to fear that you’ll forget important details about the person you’ve lost.
Keeping sentimental items that remind you of your loved one nearby can be a useful coping mechanism during this time. These items may be photographs, trinkets, or articles of clothing that promote positive memories and help you feel close.
However, keep in mind that you don’t want to hold on to unnecessary items just because they may have belonged to your loved one. As you decide which sentimental items you’d like to keep, this is also a good time to think about what you can give away. Donating these things is a great option, especially if you’d like to see certain things continue to be put to good use.
When dealing with grief, the last thing you want is to feel stressed too. A cluttered home will not only make your space less functional, but it’ll make things more stressful as well.
Even though it might feel like a chore you want to put on the back burner, cleaning your home is the perfect opportunity for you to be productive and shift your focus for a few hours. Once your home is free of clutter you’ll find yourself feeling more relaxed and may notice that you’re able to even sleep better.
Set Boundaries with Guests
When someone close to you passes, other people in your life will probably want to stop by and check on you. Of course, these people mean well, but constantly having guests can get overwhelming. It’s okay to let people know when you’re not in the mood for company.
On the other hand though, it’s important that you find the right balance between solitude and socializing so you don’t isolate yourself.
Let Natural Light Flow Through Your Home
You may think closing yourself in the house all day will help you through your grief, but this could actually make it worse. Instead, you should let as much natural light flow through your home as possible. Research has shown that exposure to natural light can have a positive impact on moods and can help reduce depression and sadness.
Play Music for Your Loved One Throughout the House
This may seem like an odd piece of advice, but research has shown that listening to music can help people deal with grief. One study suggests creating a playlist for your loved one and picking songs meaningful songs that remind you of the person.
Getting Back in the Kitchen
Most of us have an emotional response to food. That’s why friends and family will bring food to their loved ones in bereavement. Plus, cooking for someone in mourning takes one more thing off their plate.
However, cooking may be the ticket to getting back into a semi-normal routine. The act of providing a warm meal to yourself and your family could be rewarding in itself. Cooking meals your loved one had especially liked could be a way to feel somewhat connected still. You might even discover new foods and the kitchen can start to become a source of excitement and it could spark curiosity even in a dark time of your life.
As you grieve, it’s important to remember that the process is a journey that will have its fair share of ups and downs. With self care, patience, and a strong support system you can gather the strength you’ll need to carry on.
Matilda Davies is a health and wellness writer based in Raleigh, North Carolina.