On average, every one of the 2.5 million annual deaths in America directly affects four other people and this means that families, in particular, have one of the hardest challenges to deal with. Death is inevitable and a natural part of life but a loss of a spouse or close friend can bring about a surge of intense emotions while processing the grief, especially for children. Everyone will cope differently and it is important for families to stay in contact and communicate effectively even when you all live in different cities or countries. Keeping the lines of communication open between family members and being kept up to date with all the information relating to a death is essential for coping with a tragedy.
Rebuilding your life
Life after the death of a loved one can be like losing part of yourself. The person who shared your life on every level is suddenly not there and people deal with this loss in many different ways. There is no right way to grieve, rather there are various ways of grief support to embrace and help you along the way. If you do not have a big family, it might be comforting to seek help through counseling, your faith or getting in touch with support groups where people have experienced a similar loss that is relatable to your own experience. As time goes on, we all will pass through a mixture of emotions and sadness, which despite the pain, are the necessary stages of the grieving process.
Be open to feelings
In order to overcome feelings of grief and have a healthy approach to coping mechanisms, talking about feelings is the first step in the right direction. After accepting the initial shock and confusion, try to remember the positive times you had with a loved one and share these with other members of your family. It is important to bear in mind that depending on the ages of your children, they will deal with a death in different ways. As a parent, you should be aware of the issues and responses a child has to a death in the family which will change daily as they learn to accept the reality of a loss so it is good to encourage them to express their feelings in their own way and not pressure them.
Coming together as a family
When a person dies, they leave behind a host of memories that need to be replayed through the remaining members of a family. To honor that person, think about making a scrapbook or photo album so that their legacy lives on to help everyone deal with the grieving process. Deciding on the arrangements of a funeral and a farewell gathering with all members of the family will bring you all closer together in remembering and celebrating the life of a loved one. It can also bring closure to the sudden news of a loss and help to heal the gap that is left.
It is likely that moving on with your life after a spouse or a family member has passed away will be hard to do. However, allowing yourself and the rest of your family time to grieve and accept feelings will make the process much easier to bear in the long term.
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