Milestones of Grief After Loss Coping With the First Year

December 26th, 2023
Milestones of Grief After Loss Coping With the First Year

Grief is very personal, and everyone grieves differently. There is no black and white path that everyone follows. We will, however, offer some tips today on how to cope with the first year, and mention some milestones that most of us will cross.

Coping Strategies

There are many strategies for coping. Some of these strategies will work better for some individuals than others. You will have to try things to see what helps and what does not.

Being around others usually helps. You may want to exercise some discretion with who you choose to be with. Those individuals who will be most helpful are those who are quieter and just show up. It’s the company that grieving persons need, not a lot of extraneous conversation. We are social animals, and just having others around who care about you can lift your spirits.

Everything that helps depression and anxiety can also help with grief. These are things like eating well, getting enough sleep, getting some sunshine, and getting some exercise. For most people, the passing of time will help to heal you.

You may feel particularly fragile over holidays like Christmas or Thanksgiving if those holidays hold happy memories for you with the deceased. You will, however, get through them, and they will get easier.


Milestones in grief processing are relative. At first you may be crying all the time or every day. You may feel depressed from sunrise to sunset. Then that may lift slightly, and you may be able to do simple chores without dissolving in tears.

One milestone we all have to deal with is accepting the reality that someone is no longer alive. This takes time, especially if you were close to them and spoke to them frequently or daily. In the beginning it is painful to reach for the phone to call someone and then realize that the person is no longer around.

Many people initially feel guilty if they have any fun or even feel happy. This, too, shall pass, and over time, it will feel more normal to laugh again and enjoy pastimes.

For those in a holding pattern of extended grief and depression, a visit to your family doctor is recommended. Do not suffer alone. Let your friends, family, and/or family doctor help you. 

If you need help planning a funeral, now or anytime, please feel free to call us on the Lower Mainland at (604) 463-8121. 

Maple Ridge Funeral Chapel and Crematorium, based in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, provides has been providing compassionate funeral services on the Lower Mainland for over 60 years. We have deep roots in the community and take great pride in caring ethics and exemplary service. If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about funeral services, please call us at (604) 463-8121.