How to manage your concerns during the grieving process.
Coping with the loss of a loved one is emotionally and physically demanding. As your mind tries to make sense of the situation, you may lose sleep, have trouble concentrating or ignore everyday tasks. You will find yourself grappling with common questions about life and the future. During this time of loss, a gentle reminder that you're not alone can help the coping process. The thoughts and questions in your head are not only normal, they can be healthy. Take a moment to breathe and consider these common questions we all face after losing a loved one.
Question: Why did this happen?
This is a question we all ask after losing a loved one. No matter how old you are, it's common to look for someone or something to blame. And that may lead your mind to blaming yourself for the situation. This will only make matters worse. Instead of looking for a reason, look for a lesson. What did your loved one teach you? Think about how they impacted your life. Think about the joy you shared. Celebrate their life. Be thankful for the time you shared. It is impossible to answer "Why did this happen?" To put it in a simple, more upbeat perspective, asking why it happened is like asking why a movie ended; don't focus on the end credits, remember the movie itself.
Question: When will I feel better? Will I ever feel better?
Everyone will have a unique way to cope with the loss of a loved one. There is no perfect timeline or checklist for your emotional journey. Don't compare yourself to friends and family who seemingly overcame the sadness and have moved on with their lives. Give yourself permission to feel sad. And talk about your feelings with a loved one or mental health professional. These questions can often be helped by speaking up and vocalizing your concerns.
Question: Why is no one comforting me?
You may notice friends, neighbors, coworkers and even close family members are not reacting to your loss. They may even become distant and seemingly cold. This doesn't mean they don't care. Some people have trouble knowing how to help friends who have lost a loved one. They don't want to say the wrong thing or upset the person. And they simply don't know what to do. Or, they don't know how much you're suffering. Reach out to them. Tell them how you feel. And if there are ways they can help, let them know.
Question: Why am I not crying? Shouldn't I feel sad?
There are a number of reasons why people don't cry or feel as sad as they think they should after a loved one passes. It's okay to not cry. That's normal. The first thing to remember is everybody is different. You will deal with grief in your own way. Your situation is unique, your feelings are unique, and you process grief at your own pace. Another reason you may not feel sad or feel the need to cry is that you've spent time preparing for the inevitable. When a person who has suffered from a long terminal illness passes away, the family members may have been dealing with the anticipated loss for months or years. During that time, the family has been dealing with sadness and grief. No matter how you feel, it's important to give yourself time to mourn.
Question: What happens next?
The death of a loved one is overwhelming. One of the most common questions is about what happens in the next days, weeks, months and beyond. Understand that things will be different, but you will get through these difficult times. To help you cope, break tasks down into small, achievable goals. Talk with your friends and family and let them know if you have any concerns or questions about the future. Chances are, the things you're worried about will be less stressful when you share your feelings. Take it slow, one day at a time -- or even one hour at a time.
Question: How do I handle funeral plans, legal issues and tax information?
There are a few practical things to consider after the loss of a loved one. A helpful and friendly funeral home associate can walk you through the process. It's also a good idea to know the legal representative the loved one used to establish any estate plans. For tax information, AARP.org has a good overview of what you'll need and how to file. Ask questions. If something is unclear, speak up. And talk with trusted friends and family members before making any major decisions about finances and property.
Finding Answers In A Confusing Time
These common questions don't always have simple answers. Most importantly, know it's normal to have these questions and concerns. Talking about your feelings can be the first step to managing your grief. If you feel overwhelmed, reach out to your primary care physician or a mental health care expert. You must take care of yourself, especially during stressful times.
If you have questions about funeral preparations, call our friendly staff at 844-808-3310 to set up a consultation.