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ASK ANU: How do I deal with loss of a loved one?

June 30, 2021 12:13 IST

How to deal with the loss of a loved one

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/

How does one deal with the loss of someone they love?

Since the pandemic began last year, most of us have had to deal with the death of a family member, a dear friend or a colleague.

Weeks after the person has passed, strong emotions and several unanswered questions continue to bother us.

"Everyone deals with grief in a different way," says Anu Krishna, a mental health expert and NLP (neuro linguistic programming) trainer.

In this edition of our self-help series, she tells us how to cope with grief and loss and how to seek expert help.

Interview: Divya Nair/
Videos: Rajesh Karkera/

Most often, people don't know how to deal with the sudden death of a loved one.

Nor do they know how to console someone in this moment of grief and loss.

It is common for well-wishers to say things like: 'Tum rote kyu nahi ho? (Why aren't you crying/grieving?)'

Anu's advice is: "Respect their privacy. Give people time (to grieve)."


You must have often heard this bit of advice: 'Time is the best healer.'

But can you really forget someone so easily?

According to Anu, 'unsolicited advice' like this can sometimes actually do more harm than good.


What happens when you haven't had physical closure? When you haven't met the person before they passed away?

How does one deal with guilt that follows? Or the sense of pity that can sometime engulf you? Anu has some answers.


It's very common to externalise blame, feels Anu. After that, you reach a stage of denial.

"Use social media to express your feelings; try writing a journal," says Anu as she shares self-help tips.


How does one explain death to children? Anu shares some practical advice:


Finally, what are the appropriate ways to check on a person who has lost someone dear? Anu tells you how you can help.