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Ways to Cope with the Death of a Loved One

Updated on January 1, 2013
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Most people at one point or another in their lives have lost a loved one. Even when you know it is coming and believe you are prepared for it you are not. Death is a part of life unfortunately and unfortunately will always be. As healthy and strong as we may be we will die as well one day and so will everyone around us. This may be a rather dark thought but before reading this guide you need to be in the mindset. What you are about to read is how I have dealt with death. Coming from a large family I have dealt with death many times and even from within my immediate family. I have listed the ways in which I was able to cope, some of these may not work for you but give them a try. Do your best to steer clear of the situations I have listed as bad for you.

  • Surround yourself with others you care about. Take an interest in their lives.
  • Push yourself to finish unfinished projects or start on new project to keep your mind busy.
  • In the case of death of an immediate family member you should take time off from work. Three days of bereavement is not enough nor draining your vacation time. Take a leave of absence and deal with your feelings.
  • Talk with your significant other about what has happened share your sorrow and gain strength in the sharing. They are there to lean on, allow them to be for you what you would be for them.
  • Get rest as you need it. Sleep deprivation only drives up the feeling of desperation you are feeling.
  • Take a break from your surroundings. While it is true that there is no real escaping what has happened going away for a few days and seeing somewhere new can help.

While many of the above things can help those below are horrible for your state of mind again these are things I have come to understand through trial and error.

  • Don't listen to dark and sorrowful music. You may identify with what is being played but unlike sharing and talking about what has happened the end result of listening can effect you to such a degree that you may be flirting with clinical depression.
  • Make yourself eat. When someone very close to you dies it can effect you so much that the effect passes from mental to physical. You will lose not just your appetite but you will to prepare meals or eat. You must make a concentrated effort to curb this behavior. If you have to order out, do it.
  • Don't allow yourself to be alone for long periods of time. When people are by themselves for long periods of time the only thing to do is think. Right after someone close dies it is very easy to dwell on despair and this is something to be avoided whenever possible. If you have to go to a crowded bus station just to be around other people do it.
  • Allow yourself to understand that although you feel like you needed to say so many things that were left unsaid if the person was a loved one they knew how you felt.
  • Walking the path of self destruction is not an option. When your burning inside with terrible sadness, anger, pain, so much negativity you are drawn to negative things. Alcohol, drugs, as well as destroying things can become an outlet but this isn't the way to deal with it. Think about what the deceased would think if they knew what you are doing.
  • Suicide will not bring them back. You may wish to trade places, that it had been you, to be with them. Whatever your thinking is in this case suicide will not change what has happened. Understand that all of the horrendous feelings you feel will be revisited upon those close to you when you die and you don't want to subject others to that. You may also have responsibilities in this world as a mother, father or functioning member of a family, what would they do without you? Again the deceased would not want you to waste your life because they are gone. Live for them, honor them, make every day of your life count for something. Keep their memory alive.

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    • terrektwo profile image
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      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      Lipnancy - true, when we break and can be a part of the healing process.

    • terrektwo profile image
      Author

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      catgypsy - did what I could to help, thanks for reading!

    • terrektwo profile image
      Author

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      teaches12345 - I did my best to advise, it came from the heart for sure. Thanks for reading.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 5 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Sometimes it helps to just take the time and let yourself cry and miss the person. So often we think that we have to be the strong one when we really don't.

    • terrektwo profile image
      Author

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      Angela Blair - if being alone does help you then take some alone time for sure. For myself I found that I often wanted to be alone but when I was I just got much more depressed. But it works for you then you should do that, whatever get us through.

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      Some great advice. You covered some important things people may not think about...excellent hub.

    • terrektwo profile image
      Author

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      KT Banks - I think when dealing with death the most we can hope for is to take it one day at a time and deal with it little by little. I don't think that when we lose someone close that it will completely go away but we do learn to live with it over time.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I voted this one way up for the wonderful advice and well written content. Many will find comfort and help in what you have posted here.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Excellent advice -- a very pertinent Hub as we'll all face the loss of loved ones at some point in our lives. When I lost my son I found that being totally alone was my only bit of relief. In time, that changed but for the first few months it was the best I could do. Best/Sis

    • KT Banks profile image

      KT Banks 5 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for sharing this. It is so true that we never know how a death will affect us. There have been times when I ended up physically sick after a loved one died. I know I need to learn to deal with it much better.

    • terrektwo profile image
      Author

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      Msmillar - yes, it is difficult to write these types of hubs as it drags up a lot but if I can share how I got through hopefully it can help others too :)

    • Msmillar profile image

      Joanna 5 years ago from Valley Springs

      Wow, terrektwo, I feel like this really came from your heart. I hope you truly benefit from your own words as I can and will. Thank you for the thoughtful advise.