The death of a loved one is painful, scary, confusing, and can really be one of the most difficult things you will ever experience. Facing my mother’s death was all that and more. I felt empty, angry, and other ways that I couldn’t put into words if I tried. Thankfully, I had the support of friends and family to help me through. If you are dealing with the death of a loved one, I’d like to share a few tips that helped me and may be helpful for you.
- Write down everything that you remember about them.- I read this advice somewhere online and it was so helpful. It has been a year since my mother passed away, and some of my memories are not as fresh as they used to be. I flipped through the pages of my journal recently and I was so glad I wrote down many of her sayings, dishes she would cook, and moments we shared.
- Have someone else make the calls notifying friends, co workers, etc. of their passing. – I had help, but had to do some of it myself..it was torturous.
- Keep a couple of sentimental items, but not a house full-After her death, getting rid of my mother’s clothes, personal items, furniture, has been painful but necessary. Allowing the clutter to build up around you could make things even more difficult.
- Take as much time as you need.-I was able to take some time off work and was pregnant at the time, my spirit needed cleansing, especially before bringing a baby into this world. My sister and I took a trip to Hawaii and it did wonders. Surely everyone may not be able to do this, but it may be good to take a road trip, cruise, or visit another town to absorb different scenery and stimuli.
- You do not have to respond immediately to people.- Well meaning family and friends will flood you with calls, texts, etc. You do not have to respond on their time. When you are ready, try a pre typed response “thank you so much for your concern and care, ……”
- Allow a friend to visit- It can be quite depressing wallowing in your feelings alone. Allow someone to bring a meal, card, do a chore, etc.
- Save as many voice recordings, voicemail messages, texts, letters as you can.-God knows I wish I had more.
- Go to a psychologist, counselor, or join a griefshare/bereavement group in your area or even online. -speaking to a professional or group of other people experiencing a similar struggle can definitely help the healing process. Knowing that your feelings are valid and that you are not alone can bring you peace.
Lastly, know that it is natural to experience feelings of loneliness, emptiness, pain, guilt, anger, and overwhelming sadness after the death of a loved one. It will get better with time. Trust and believe that. Lean on God, your faith, family, friends, and keep busy during those especially hard times. This is what’s working for me and I hope it works for you.