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Handling Sadness and Yearning After a Major Loss


Sadness and yearning for a loved one, an object, or a way of life you have lost are the most common and expected feelings that occur after any loss.

To help you cope with your feelings of sadness and yearning, you might try the following tips.

  • Look at photos, watch videos, or exchange stories with other people about your loss.
  • Acknowledge the loss.

    Take part in activities that acknowledge and mark a major loss, such as funeral or memorial services after a death. These may also include activities such as a going-away party for a friend or a meeting to rebuild a community after it has been devastated by a flood.

  • Actively participate in normal day-to-day activities.

    Being active and taking part in daily activities might help you focus in the present.

Handling your emotions around others

After a major loss, you may feel more emotional or less patient. If you find yourself bothered by what other people say and do, try some of the following tips.

  • Pause for a moment before responding.

    Concentrate on your breathing or count to 10 before you react.

  • Communicate your needs.

    Ask people around you to allow you some time to adjust to your new life situation.

  • Acknowledge how you feel, but move forward.

    Keep yourself from becoming preoccupied with thoughts about an insensitive comment.

  • Focus on the goodness around you.

    Thank those who have been caring and kind to you.


Current as of: November 16, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.


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