In recent months, there have been a couple of sudden, celebrity deaths that have no doubt left family, friends, and significant others reeling. Both Glee star Cory Monteith’s fatal drug overdose and former Bachelor contestant Gia Allemand’s tragic suicide opened up much speculation about how their partners, Lea Michele and Ryan Anderson respectively, have been coping.
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These tragedies got me thinking: All of us will experience heartbreak in our lives — whether in the form of a difficult breakup or the death of a significant other — and will surely find ourselves desperate for ways to move on with as much grace, ease, and dignity as possible. Here at Dating with Dignity, I’ve developed five simple practices that certainly won’t eradicate the pain of your loss but will give you the tools to begin healing.
1. Allow Moments of Grief
The most important thing when untangling yourself from a broken heart is to express whatever you’re feeling and do so in a healthy way. Allow yourself to cry, write, listen to or make music, or talk with a close friend or family member. As you become further removed from the incident, be cognizant of when it’s time to distill this period of grief into brief, private moments, and then eventually your loss will become less acute. Grieving is healthy, but if you continue to dwell on it for more than one year and it feels like it’s turning into chronic depression, make sure you seek help from a healthcare professional.
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2. Don’t Cast Blame
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It was widely reported that Allemand’s suicide occurred immediately after a blowout fight with her boyfriend, NBA player Anderson, that culminated in him saying, “I don’t love you anymore.” In this situation, it would be easy for Anderson to process his loss by blaming himself and wondering if he could have saved his girlfriend by choosing his words more carefully.
But it’s important to remember that there are endless numbers of factors that contribute to something so serious, and whatever you feel you did wrong is only the tipping point (if even a factor at all). There’s no way to truly know, and blaming yourself or others will only alienate you as work through your grief — so train yourself to focus your energy on moving past it.