HOW TO LIVE AFTER THE PASSING OF A LOVED ONE?
How to prepare yourself to live without your loved one? There are no easy answers or ways to prepare and plan for living life without your loved one. Take one day at a time. Your daily routine changes. The way you eat, sleep, and communicate. Your food order included more than yourself. You purchased more than one show ticket. Shopping for clothes is not fun anymore.
Prepare yourself for a different type of life. A life that only includes wonderful memories—not the physical presence of your loved one.
Above all, preparing is not forgetting that person but moving on and keeping your loved one alive in your heart, memories, and thoughts. Dealing with the everyday life will be challenging. Begin where you are! Be open to dealing with your pain.
7 Stages of Grief and How to Fight Through
- Disbelief—It is like a whirlwind of ups and down, highs and lows. Laughing at the fun times and mad at the fact they are gone. In fact, it’s like living in a slow-motion video.
2. Denial—Due to the fact that you continuing to think your loved one will come back and walk through the front door. That feeling of loss can stay with you. Their scent lingers in the house and car. This can cause triggers that the situation cannot be real. You could be thinking “This is a bad dream” and “I want to wake up now” numerous times a day. These are all thoughts you may struggle with for weeks or months. In other words, it is not uncommon to have these feelings and not want to let the go yet.
3. Bargaining—Indeed, Questioning why? Why not me. Just know this is beyond your control. Lean on your faith and higher power. No one knows why? Know this is not your fault and it is beyond your earthly control.
4. Guilt—Notably, guilt is a reaction to losing a loved one. Always thinking what you could have or should have done better. Don’t let guilt consume you. Death is a part of life. No matter if accidental, premature, or just natural. Always focus on the positive thoughts and memories from when your loved one was alive. Having spent time with your loved one is the best cure. Knowing you were by their side can be comforting and reassuring. Furthermore, understand you are only human; GOD always has a plan, and we will never know why our loved one was taken quickly or too soon.
5. Anger— Equally important, anger is a natural reaction and a common way to cope with the loss of a loved one. You may want to lash out at the world, especially to those closes to you, family, and friends. It may trigger you to drink, drug or eat the pain away. Try to release your anger in healthy ways. Try taking a walk, listening to music, call a friend, hit the gym, take a boxing class, or take up a new hobby. Scream, yell, or punch the couch and cry. Start a journal; write down all the things you are feeling, the pain, anguish, confusion, sadness, and guilt. It’s okay to let it out. Anger can consume you if you allow it. Talk with a professional and licensed grief counselor for more support. https://www.counseling.org/knowledge-center/mental-health-resources/grief-and-loss-resources
6. Depression— Under those circumstances, depression takes many forms. You may start to push friends and family away. For some it can be lack of sleep, not having an appetite, overworking, or constant sadness. Take baby steps to get back to living life. Open the curtains and let the sunshine in. Get out of the house. Take a long drive…to nowhere! Yes, visit the gravesite. It is comforting to visit your loved one. Some people find it comforting to decorate their loved one’s gravesite with pictures, flowers, and solar lights. Talk, laugh, and let it all out. Always lean on friends and family.
Contact a grief counselor for more support. It helps to know you are not alone and the only one going through losing someone you love. Grief Share is a grief support services where you can find help and healing for the hurt of losing a loved one. https://www.griefshare.org/
7. Acceptance—In time, you start to accept that your loved one is no longer part of this earthly world. It means that you are starting to accept the loss and allow their memories to get you through life. Acceptance takes time. There is not an exact amount of time for any one person. You know when you are ready. This does not mean you have moved on. It only means that life has changed. Know that your loved one will forever be implanted in your memories, heart, and soul. There is no end time for grieving. Take as much time as you need!
MAKING TOUGH DECISIONS
Decisions to Downsize – Overall, it can be extremely difficult to begin letting go of your loved one’s belongings. Selling your home, buying a smaller home, staying, or moving away can be a hard decision. Some people choose to stay in their family home because of the memories, fun times or for financial reasons. Whether it is a parent, spouse, sibling or child, this decision is for you and only you to make. Since there can be unscrupulous people around, including family be cautious and obtain the help of either a reputable estate or probate attorney or licensed real estate professional to guide you through the process.
Seek professional resources in your area. Never feel pressured by anyone about these important life changing decisions. Take your time. In fact, it is recommended to wait one to two years before making a major financial decision. If you choose to stay or sell, make sure all you proper paperwork is in order—Deeds, mortgages, bank statements, etc. https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia
Packing Up Possessions — Most importantly, parting with your loved one’s belongings is tough! Although there is not a time limit for this phase, give yourself at least one year before you do anything with his or her possessions. It may feel like you are removing the loved one from your life, but you are allowing yourself time to heal. Enlist the help of family to sort and save items. Mark four to five different containers with clothing, personal correspondence, photographs, medical papers, and legal documents. Go through the house looking for just those items and place them in their respective bins.
You can then sort through each box later and decide what to keep or let go. Things that you decide to part with can be shared with family, friends, neighbors as mementos, things with sentimental value that they will treasure forever. Keepsakes are comforting and provide lifelong memories. If you decide to donate items, you are helping someone less fortunate to have nice clothes, shoes, and home goods.
Strength—In conclusion, you should remember all the great times, stories, and your strength. It took great courage and bravery to get through your loss, funeral, and burial services. Even though your loved one has left this earth, you can lean on your faith knowing he/she is in a better place. Courage and strength come from all the precious moments you shared together. Remember to memorialize your loved one(s) with beautiful mementos, keepsakes, t-shirts, pictures any way you can to ensure their memory lives on forever.
When you cry happy tears of joy it is because you know they are looking down on you, in a better place and out of pain from this world. While it may sound cliché, there is comfort and peace in this sentiment. Thank GOD for him allowing you the time you had. Above all else, strength comes when you feel that love coming back to you. Ask for what you need. Reach out to family, friends, and co-workers for support! You are not alone!
Number #1 – Take Care of Yourself!
Written by Carla of Jelly Crackers Merch