Losing a loved one is one of the universal experiences that unites every adult person. It is a unique time of heightened emotions, filled with both a very conspicuous absence and a wealth of happy memories.
Thankfully, most of us will never experience enough loss to get used to the feeling — but this does mean that living through these times can be a challenge. You may be unsure how to direct your emotions or how to cope with the minutiae of everyday life with so much weight on your shoulders.
However, you should not feel helpless in this. There are ways that you can help yourself to start recovering from your loss.
Accept Your Feelings
You cannot control the way you feel, and nor would it be healthy to do so. Everything that you are experiencing is natural and perfectly understandable in the circumstances — no matter what you are feeling.
You may feel guilt, anger, hopelessness, regret, relief or any number of conflicting emotions. Everybody reacts to grief in a different way — and no two situations or relationships are the same, either.
As such, you should try not to be angry or frustrated with yourself for the way you are feeling. It is beyond your control and nothing that you should apologize for regardless. Instead, try to perceive yourself and your feelings as you would a dear friend’s. You deserve that kindness and patience in this hard time.
When it comes to funeral arrangements, it may feel as though you have a mountain to climb — especially alongside your turbulent feelings. However, encouraging yourself to get started and be proactive in addressing these tasks can be very helpful.
Not only will it keep you occupied and give you something to think about other than what you’re feeling, but it may also provide you with some comfort or closure to know that you’re giving your loved one the best memorial service that you can.
Equally, having your loved one cremated can feel like releasing them — whatever your beliefs, going through this process is like a transition from one stage of life to the next. Taking part in this, and in celebrating that person’s life, may be very healing.
However, you should also know your own limits and take care of your wellbeing first and foremost. If you feel extremely uncomfortable, unhappy or unable to cope, do hand over these responsibilities to someone else — be it a family member or a professional. There is no shame in this.
Finally, do not rush to make irreversible decisions as you try to be proactive. For example, it may be tempting to try to sort through your loved one’s belongings. This step is not advisable; give yourself time to recover from your bereavement before you make these choices.
Don’t Suffer Alone
You cannot stop yourself from grieving, but you can alleviate some of the stress and pain of it by sharing your feelings with other people.
Talking to a friend or family member, especially somebody who shares your close connection with the deceased, will help you reaffirm to yourself that you are not the only one going through these feelings. You’ll remember how much support you really have at this difficult time.
Speaking to a therapist or trained volunteer, on the other hand, will give you access to established techniques and strategies for coping and a professional who can help you to use these.
In either case, actually talking about your emotions and explaining to another person what you’re going through will be helpful in and of itself.
This is a hard time of your life. However, with time the pain will ease — and taking care of yourself in the meantime will help the process go as quickly as possible, leaving you with mostly warm, happy memories of the loved one you were so lucky to have.
If you require help in planning or scheduling funeral and cremation services for your loved one, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to assist you.