4 Tips For Dealing With The Passing Of A Loved One
Chances are, at one point or the other, you will have to say goodbye to a loved one. Regardless of how the person passed, one thing is for sure, the experience will very likely shake you to your core and leave you with emotions that can be pretty hard to put into words. If you are yet to experience this pain or already are, these tips should walk you through what to expect to help you overcome a difficult time.
1. Feel your feelings
When it comes to how you react to a loved one dying, there is no "right" or "wrong." There are no hard or fast rules in situations like this. You may experience a whole lot of emotions at the same time and you may even feel like you are 'going crazy.' Just keep in mind that whatever you are feeling is normal. Allow yourself feel it.
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2. Have support
This is a time for friends and loved ones to rally around you. Yes, it is natural to want to be alone as you cope with a big loss and you should get some alone time if that's what you want. But you should lean on family and friends, therapists, religious leader or anyone that can offer support when you need them.
3. The stages of grief
You may have heard about the five stages of grief. The whole concept is to get people to understand that grieving is a process. There is no time limit on each of these stages and in some cases, they are not necessarily experienced in order. In Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' book, On Death and Dying, she described these five stages.
Denial: You are unsure what is going on. You refuse to believe that your loved one is actually gone and you may even feel numb.
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Anger: As you begin to accept the event, you may find yourself feeling angry - at yourself, at the person who died, or even at God.
Bargaining: Some survivors may find themselves negotiating (usually with a higher power) in a bid to make a deal that takes this terrible occurrence away.
Depression: The sadness can be overwhelming but just remember that it won't last forever.
Acceptance: This is when the survivor comes to terms with the finality of the loss and begins to attempt to move on. This is not always the final stage for some people. You may even find yourself going back and forth through all the other stages as you continue to mourn your loved one's passing.
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4. It's okay to move on
There will come a time when you will have to move on. Yes, the pain of your loss should and must be felt but living your life again is an important part of this process. You will soon find yourself in a place of acceptance and you should be able to move forward, embracing life without your loved one beside you.
Keep in mind that everyone responds differently to loss so this is not a time to compare or worry that you are not grieving right. Be patient, be kind to yourself and give yourself enough time to heal.