How Do You Deal with the Death of a Loved One?

Death is something many people don't like talking about. According to the Bioethics Research Library, 65 million people die each year globally. This means that 178, 000 die daily, 7424 each hour, and 120 each minute. What does this indicate? It shows that every day millions of people mourn the death of their loved ones.  These statistics just show how common death is as it happens after every second of life. No one likes death and if people had an option of escaping it, I’m pretty sure that they’d do anything possible to stay alive. We all have experienced death at some point in our lives. Death is inevitable just like change, and it is out of it that thousands of people are lying in the graves. We all have lost people we love and life never becomes the same again.

The moment you lose a child, a parent, a sibling, a friend, etc, there is some type of anger that remains in people and that's what makes them question life. Anytime I come across the term death, one thing always triggers my mind. It provokes hundreds of questions in me but there is one specific question that burns more than the rest and that is, why is it that grief never ends? Some people may argue and say that after the loss of a loved one, things get better with time but I don't think so. Why I’m I saying this? It's simply because if time is the master healer, why do we have people who mourn for 10, 20, 30+ years after the loss of their loved ones? If time was supposed to heal us, then we could not hold onto grief for such long periods but instead, we'd move on and be happy.

If you observe closely, you’ll realize that people may seem to be over the death of their loved ones, but anytime they see their pictures or talk about them they get overwhelmed by emotions. Why does this happen? It happens because such people haven't healed yet and some trauma exists in them. Time does not heal people but it teaches them how to still carry on even in the absence of people they valued and are no more. Since death is an aspect that touches every human being here on earth, I felt the urge to address this topic and share a few insights that may help you find peace. In this post, I would like to teach you a few things you can do to help you cope with the death of someone you loved. Here are the tips and so, why not have a look?

1. Recognition of the loss.

When death strikes, the first thing that hits the people left behind in disbelief. Many people spend the first few days wondering how that could even be possible. Because of this, by the time a loved one is buried or cremated such people are usually left confused because of a sudden turn of events. One thing that can ease your pain is accepting that your loved one is gone and there is no way he/she will come back. Accepting is not easy and not everyone takes it that quick. Accepting requires grace which most people don't have. By saying you accept I don't mean you should not mourn, no. What I mean is that accepting may not return your person but it makes your journey easier. There is usually a big difference between people who accept death and those who don't. I tend to understand that grief is personal, but trying to accept it slowly may help. You don't have to say yes to such a traumatizing moment in one day, you can take your time but the moment you recognize and accept reality, some burden will leave your shoulders. Knowing very well in your heart that your loved one has gone to a point of no return may calm your situation so that you can start your journey of grief.

2. Expression of Emotions.

Emotions are in-build in us and we express them daily depending on the situation. Human beings have a very strong sense of emotions and that is what makes us close to each other. We develop friendships because of emotions and feelings as well. When someone dies, it is okay to feel overwhelmed. It is right to express your emotions in the best way you can find. Some people cry while others just get numb to the situation. Death sometimes can make people look mentally ill or even shut down for months. No rule in the world will ever teach you the best way to mourn, only you can teach yourself that. Never feel ashamed or emotionally weak when trying to show how heartbroken you feel. It is okay to feel vulnerable because, at the end of it all, you are experiencing the loss of someone you will never see again. Reaction to the separation and experiencing and expressing the pain of the loss. This process is done by understanding and embracing all the complex, powerful emotions you are feeling. What breaks people is a lifetime separation from their departed souls and the lost ambitions that were made when they were still living.

3. Remembering their Memories.

Many of the people who die usually leave so many memories of them with their family members and friends. After this special is gone, so many memories of them are left behind and this can give you hope. To properly remember them, you can look at their pictures, videos, and conversations that you had together. You can as well go and visit the places they enjoyed visiting or cook their favorite meal. Recollection and re-experiencing the deceased may not end your pain but at least will help you appreciate them even when gone. Have you ever seen people who refuse to move on after loss? This happens because of the relationships and the associated feelings they had with these people. This happens mostly in married people where one person refuses to remarry after one spouse is gone.  Such spouses may seem cold or unloving but the fact is that they still hold onto the memories and promises they made to each other. Again, re-marrying or failing to do this is a personal choice and no one should dictate this for other people. Just recalling your humble time with your loved one, through thick and thin is a good thing. These memories will make you more attached to your loved ones even if they are absent. They will create a sense of an important influence they played in your life.

4. Relinquishing old attachments.

Sometimes people keep on hurting because they keep visiting the old things about their loved ones. Keeping things that your loved ones left behind is important because it is a sign of respecting them even when they are not present. But if seeing these things keeps on triggering your emotions and is interfering with your healing process, you can pause. By saying this I don't mean you get rid of their belongings or gifts they gave you, but you can take a break to stop seeing them for a while. Let me teach you something very important here. The more you teach your body to stop doing some things, your brain adapts to it. This means that if you can pause things that trigger your emotions and make you re-experience death again, you will be able to adapt and cope with the situation. This is a long journey that you will have to take and steps are very gradual, so take it each day at a time. Failure to do this, you will slowly begin to process the impact of your loved one's absence at the full cost of your life.

5. Readjustment to Adapt to The New World Without Forgetting the Old.

The last thing you’d want when someone dies is to forget their significance in your life. Since death is something permanent, it is good to teach yourself to adapt to the new environment. Which environment is this, the world where your loved one is no longer living in. This is not an easy task but takes so much sacrifice and effort, and so never stop trying. We become better by trying each day. People who have experienced death can agree with me that it is difficult to get used to the same environment after the loss. You get hurt by the fact that you see the same things but only your loved one is missing and it’s okay to feel that way. Readjusting means becoming more comfortable with new roles, life, and responsibilities but also accepting who you are now and how the death of your loved one may have changed you. You will feel more able to cope with day-to-day life while still remembering and cherishing your loved one by finding meaning in life again.

6. Reinvestment.

Death only ends the life of the deceased but not yours. Because your loved one is gone does not mean you should lock yourself inside and assume the world hates you. What happened is part of life and you should be glad that life has offered you another chance to live. You can do this by inviting your friends and family over to your house. You can also move out and visit the mall to enjoy something you like. Travelling is one of the strategies that can make life feel meaningful again and you should embrace it. Seeing new things in a new environment may open your eyes and make you realize that there’s more to life even though somehow you feel empty. You can practice the art of enjoying life again and rediscovering a sense of purpose. Is all about allowing yourself to care about new things and even enjoy yourself. One thing I would like to say is that this does not mean you are replacing your loved one.

The Final Thought.

Death is something no one enjoys. This is a moment associated with pain, anger, and endless questions that sometimes will never be answered. The emptiness and darkness that surrounds the death of loved ones can be felt for years and that's okay. Death is a transition into another life and we should all embrace it keeping in mind that one day we’ll also be the ones experiencing it. By understanding that this world is a transit for us may help us spend our time better. If you have ever experienced loss, the only thing I can urge you is to keep on moving on no matter how hard it is. Cherish people you have around because out here death is real and permanent. I believe that this blog will help you develop a coping mechanism that will ease your pain and enable you to enjoy life.