Written by: Jessica Geer
What do you do when the unexpected happens? When everything is going right and suddenly it goes wrong.
On October 6th I woke up to the most devastating news. My cousin suffered a massive heart attack. The following 13 days I spent almost every moment in the ICU at Centenary Hospital in Scarborough. I hoped and I prayed that my cousin would pull through and everything would return back to “normal”. Unfortunately, on October 19 at 10:46 pm my cousin passed away.
I am dedicating this blog post to discuss ways to cope when a traumatic event happens during your semester. These are a few tips I created which helped me.
- Advise your professors ASAP
Giving your prof’s the heads up is one of the best things you can do. This can allow for any necessary extensions on assignments or give a reason as to why you may be missing a few lectures.
- Take time away
The worst thing you can do is force yourself to “feel okay”. You won’t feel okay whatsoever and that is completely fine. Don’t force yourself to do something when you cannot. No matter what the situation is, making sure that you are mentally okay is the priority.
- Be around your family
Depending on the scenario I suggest spending time with your family. Through my difficult time, I felt the most at peace when I was surrounded by my family. This is because we are all grieving together. It is better to grieve with people around you rather than alone.
- Life goes on
Always remember that death is a part of life. It happens to each and every one of us. Unfortunately, the majority of the time it is unexpected and heartbreaking. Although it hurts, you must remember that the individual who has passed does not want you to dwell on their death.
- Express how you feel
Do not bottle up your feelings. This will only make you feel worse. If you have loved ones around you or the ability to confide in someone…DO IT! Releasing your feelings through speech will allow you to have the weight lifted off your chest. Letting out all of the emotions can help you with finding peace.
All of these tips helped me throughout this difficult time. If you or someone you know is going through a hard time use these tips to help cope with your situation. Also, remember that Trent offers multiple counselling services available to all students.