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Coping With Loss, the 3b Method

Updated on June 23, 2019
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Meg is a college student studying social psychology where she's learned about coping with loss after losing her mother a year ago to cancer

Death sucks!

Some of us tell ourselves over and over that "life isn't fair" and "why couldn't it have been me" when it comes to losing someone close to you. It is extremely hard to cope with their loss and many feel they'll never move on from it. Unfortunately, some people never get over it. The truth? You will never get over a loss. It will always make you hurt when you think back on it. However, there are ways to help cope with that loss to make life a little bit easier to deal with.

Methods that do (or don't) work

There are many methods in coping with the loss of a loved one. However, some of these methods are not as healthy as they may seem at the time. Many people resort to drinking, drugs, self-harm, etc. and it is not a safe method to use. Others see a therapist or speak to family and friends they trust. Some exercise, play video games or pick up more hours at work as a means of escaping reality. Although these are healthier alternatives, they don't always help that person move forward with the loss.

The 3B Method

The 3B Method was told to me by a friend who I attend college with. I've used it in my grieving as well as my friends have used it with theirs. This method is a way of thinking rather than an actual activity to try when grieving. ALWAYS take the time to grieve over a loved one.

The 3 b's stand for Ball, Box, and Button.

Imagine that inside of your heart there is a box. Inside this box is a ball and a button. the Button is small, and represents all of the pain and sorrow you feel for the loss. When the loss first occurs, the ball is almost as big as the box. The ball continuously hits the button causing the pain and sorrow to flood your heart and mind. It's extremely painful to deal with and it's hard to get over. As time moves on, the ball gets smaller and smaller. The ball, even though is still bouncing all around inside the box, has a tinier chance of hitting the button the smaller it gets. This is associated with the feelings of moving forward. It has become easier to cope and you've moved on in your life with your job, your family, etc. However, when that ball does hit the button, all of that pain comes flooding back just like the day it happened. You start hurting, crying and wondering to yourself, "Why does this hurt so much still?" but it's because you never truly "move on" from the pain. Remember that this method is a new way of thinking. You know and understand that you will never move on from a loss but you know that, although it hurts now, the pain will get easier to manage. Common times the button gets hit by the ball are when you are thinking of the memories you shared with that person, the anniversary of their death, handling situations that used to involve them, etc. This method is a way of reminding yourself that life gets easier and although you never "move on", you know you can move forward with the idea that they are in a better place and would want you to be happy and live life to the fullest.

It Gets Better!

While it may not be an ideal thought at the time, you will move forward from your loss. Your loved one would have wanted you to move forward with life as life and time stop for no one. All you may see now is darkness and despair, but I can promise you the sun will rise again tomorrow.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Meg


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