Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Dealing With the Loss of a Loved One


Death isn’t something that we want to focus on or talk about. It’s a grim subject. It can be a scary subject. It can make us feel lost, confused and nervous. But, unfortunately, it’s a sad reality of life and the loss of a loved one is something that all of us are going to have to face at some point or another. Now, more than ever, we’re more aware of loss. We’re in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and, on top of the usual tragedies that happen on a daily basis, we’re being faced with an unprecedented number of deaths at the hands of coronavirus and Covid-19. Considering this, now might be a good time to consider how to deal with the loss of a loved one. Hopefully, you won’t have to use any of this information. But understanding some of the steps around the process could help you to help someone else or is simply good to be aware of and have in the back of your mind.

Grieving

Grief can be a long and difficult process. The pain of the loss of someone close to you can be extremely overwhelming and can pass through multiple stages until you feel ready to face the world again. Here are some of the basics of grief to help you understand.

What Is Grief?

Grief is an entirely natural response to loss and many people will go through it at some point or another in their lives. There are various forms of loss, ranging from divorce to the loss of health, the loss of a pet, a miscarriage, retirement or the loss of any other thing that feels important in your life. But the most common form of grief that springs to mind when the word is mentioned tends to be the most severe - the loss of a loved one. Grief comes hand in hand with sentiments of emotional suffering but you may feel a much wider array of emotions than sadness alone. You may find that your grief consists of shock, anger, disbelief, guilt, profound sadness and much more. Sometimes, the emotional aspects of grief aren’t all. You may suffer from physical symptoms too, such as an inability to focus, an inability to sleep, a lack of appetite or a lack of energy, for example.

The Grieving Process

When it comes down to it, there’s absolutely no right or wrong way to grieve. This is a profoundly individual experience and experiences of grief will be unique to every individual. The ways in which you grieve can vary according to your circumstances and other factors, such as your personality, your coping style, your life experience, your faith and how significant the loss was to you. One thing that tends to hold true to most experiences of grief is that recovering from grief is generally a long and slow process. It takes time to heal from this kind of hurt and you can’t force or rush the process. For some people, grief will last for weeks. For others, feelings of grief will be overwhelming for months or even years. The most important thing to try to do is practice patience with yourself and to allow your grief to unfold naturally.

Support

There is, of course, plenty of support out there for anyone suffering from grief. Where you seek support will depend entirely on you as an individual. Some will seek support from friends, family and other loved ones. Some will want to speak to a doctor about their grief. Some will want to talk to a therapist. Some will reach out to helplines. Some will attend support groups. What best suits you will be entirely down to what happens to make you feel better at the time.


Planning the Funeral

Of course, when someone passes, someone will have to take on responsibility for organising the funeral. This can be a difficult process to carry out, but it’s often an essential one and, generally speaking, funeral directors are well experienced in the area and can often take a whole lot of the weight off your shoulders.

Dealing with Funeral Costs

When arranging a funeral through a funeral director, it’s important to bear in mind that you will be responsible for the costs incurred. It’s important to ask for a price list before arranging the funeral so you know what can be afforded in a budget that you should set out in advance. There are various ways to pay for a funeral. Sometimes, the person who has passed will have already taken out a funeral plan, which will cover the costs. This may be mentioned in a will or they may have mentioned this to close friends or family. If not, you may have to find a way to pay for the funeral yourself. It’s important to get a written estimate with a breakdown of all costs incurred to ensure that you are charged correctly.

Services to Consider

Funeral services can vary drastically based on budget. A basic funeral will generally require:

  • A plain, lined coffin
  • Transport of the body of the person who has died to the funeral director's premises
  • The care of the person who has died until the funeral
  • A hearse to take the body to the nearest crematorium or burial ground
  • Providing the necessary people to carry the coffin
Further services you might want to consider could include:
  • Flowers
  • A more expensive coffin and fittings
  • An organist
  • Fees for religious services
  • A burial or crematorium fee. The burial fee will usually include the costs of preparing the grave
  • Extra cars
  • A memorial, such as a gravestone or flat grass grave markers
Helping Others to Grieve

Of course, it’s important to be able to help others while they grieve too. If someone you know is suffering from a loss, it’s absolutely essential that you help them in any way you can. You can help them through the grieving process and provide them with much needed support at what can be the hardest time of many people’s lives. Here are some ways to help someone else grieve.

Offer Your Condolences

It’s important to let your loved one know that you are there for them through this awful time. Let them know how sorry you are for their loss and how you’re there for them if they need anything at all. Generally speaking, many people will send cards or flowers with a note to express this. You can also check in with a text message or call. Have patience if you don’t hear straight back from this person. As long as you know they’re physically okay, you need to practice patience and allow them to reach back out to you in their own time. It could take a while until they feel up to speaking to anybody.

Listen

If they do reach out in response, listen to them. Let them talk. Share in their grief. They may simply want to remember memories with the person they’ve lost. They might want to talk about what happened. What’s most important is that you let them talk and that you encourage them to share how they’re feeling.


Of course, this isn't the most positive subject matter. But it’s important to know what to do if tragedy does ever strike. Hopefully, some of the above information will help you through this difficult process and these trying times.

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