There is never a right or wrong way to deal with grief which can get overwhelming. It is an emotional response to loss. Some seek counselling, and others rely on friends and family for support. If someone close to you has passed, the traditional way of showing sympathy is by sending them bouquets of sympathy flowers. What happens when you are grieving for someone who doesn’t exist in real life?
We are not talking about the supernatural, but about characters you read about in books and movies. Do you remember getting stuck into Harry Potter? As the book progresses, you grow with the characters. When your favourite character dies, a little bit of you dies with them. It hurts, especially when you relate to that specific character and experience a wave of intense confusing emotions when they pass.
There is no easy way to heal from feelings of grief, but there are ways to come to terms with the loss of a fictional character. And while not everyone will understand what you are going through, some might even call you silly for grieving a fictional character, but you must remember that you are not alone.
Talk About It
Feeling embarrassed to open up to anyone about your grief, especially about a fictional character, is expected. But talking to someone who understands what you are going through will get your weight off your shoulders. One search online, and you can find many groups with the same interest as you and help each other cope. You are never alone in your grief.
Pour Your Feelings Out
You do not have to be a professional writer, and it does not have to be well-structured. You can start with how you were introduced to this character and how they impacted your life. Pour out everything you would want to say to them and what you will miss about them in a journal or an online blog. Some people like to burn handwritten letters as a way of closure or even bury mementoes, which can be equally symbolic.
Flowers are known to be great mood lifters, and they smell amazing too! Why not treat yourself to a bouquet of flowers to lift your spirits? Send yourself some gorgeous flowers plus a little note with an encouraging message. Our favourites are gerbera and tulips for their bright colours. Nothing says ‘self-care’ better than a beautiful flower arrangement. Get cheeky and add prosecco to your flowers. You deserve it!
In other words, distract yourself. Pick a new hobby or start a new show or book. Easier said than done, but it does not hurt to try. Do you have a birthday or an anniversary coming up? Pour your energy into planning for that event. If you can find an activity that your favourite character did in their fictional world that you can do in the real world, why not try it? That way, you can keep their memory alive.
Be gentle and kind to yourself, and most importantly, have patience. There is no quick fix or timeline for when the grieving will stop, but you will not feel like this forever.