Regardless of your age or social condition, it will always be difficult to cope with the death of a loved one. Death is inevitably a part of life (for better or for worse). However, that doesn't mean you can't learn from it and control your feelings of grief. Although the steps involved are difficult, learning how to cope with death will make you a stronger and happier person in the long run.
Method 1 of 3: Dealing with the death of a loved one
Step 1. Realize that your feelings of grief are natural
Don't be discouraged, upset, or worried that you feel unable to continue living. After the death of a loved one, it's normal to feel sad, upset, and lost. You shouldn't be thinking "you're going to get over this" or quickly turn the page. Instead, recognize your feelings as a natural reaction to the death of your loved one - it will help you heal your grief over time. Among the feelings of sadness that could animate you, there are:
- denial of death
- shock or emotional numbness
- haggling or rationalizing how you could have "saved" the deceased
- regret for things you did when the person was alive
- the Depression
- and anger.
Step 2. Express your feelings
When you learn of the death of a loved one, you will certainly feel hurt. Instead of shutting up what you are feeling, you should try to let it go by remaining natural. Crying, silently thinking, or talking about the death is recommended. Don't try to hold back your tears because you think “it shows your weakness”. If you need to cry, let go.
Don't think that you need to grieve in a special way. It works best if you take it personally and accept your feelings and expressions
Step 3. Make your memories positive
It is very easy to let the negative emotions of death overwhelm us and drown out the beautiful memories that we had in someone's lifetime. Think about how funny and unique your loved one is and share it with others. Celebrating the accomplishment of a person's life is fitting in a difficult time.
- Studies have shown that the state of mind we currently have when faced with the death of a loved one profoundly affects how we are 1 to 2 years later. So, positive feelings in the present will help you stay positive in the future.
- “Recovering from grief is not synonymous with forgetting the person, but rather remembering the deceased with less pain and more joy. "- Marie José Dhaese
Step 4. Take time to digest your loss
Often our reaction to tragedy is to keep busy - that is, to spend more hours at work, more outings, and less sleep. It is an alternative to “bury” feelings of grief: staying busy to avoid feeling unpleasant or sad emotions. However, overcoming grief takes time.
Resist the urge to use drugs and alcohol to overcome grief, as this not only hinders your ability to cope with grief, but can cause you other physical and mental problems as well
Step 5. Share your feelings with a loved one
You are not the only one in mourning. Sharing your thoughts, memories and feelings with other people can help everyone understand what happened. Excluding other people not only keeps you from dealing with grief, it creates tension between people when they need each other the most. Although it is difficult to speak, there are tips for starting a conversation.
- Recollect the best memories of the deceased.
- Plan the funeral service, burial or ceremonies together.
- Recognize that you need someone to vent your anger or sadness.
Step 6. Express yourself through art or writing
Even if you write your thoughts in a journal, finding a way to express yourself helps you get over this step. By writing down or formulating your thoughts through art, you make them real and easy to control.
Step 7. Take care of your body even if you are in mourning
There is a strong link between our physical and mental health, and taking care of one of these aspects will always benefit the other. Continue to eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep, even if you feel weak and uncomfortable.
Step 8. Find a support group
Being with others who understand your pain can be a valuable way to help you recognize your feelings and deal with grief. Know that you are not alone in this situation and that a simple Internet search for words like “death support groups” in your area can help you find a group near you.
- Often there are specific groups for different types of deaths, including groups for those who have lost a parent or spouse, groups for those battling cancer, etc.
- This website has a detailed list of support groups and their contacts.
Step 9. Talk to a psychiatrist if you feel the pain or sadness getting intense
There are trained professionals who can help you cope with the death of a loved one, especially if you feel you cannot work or that you have lost the will to live.
Guidance counselors, school psychologists, and mental health professionals can offer advice and support while you are grieving
Step 10. Deal with grief at your own pace
There is no time limit for overcoming grief. It can take a month, sometimes it lasts a whole year. After the death of a loved one, no one can predict exactly how it will affect you. So don't try to rush to feel better. Over time, you will learn to deal with grief your way.
The “stages of grief” are only guidelines for the emotions commonly felt after the death of a loved one. There are no specific boxes that a bereaved person can tick to move on
Method 2 of 3: Coping with terminal illnesses
Step 1. Talk to your doctor about possible care and support
Regardless of whether you or your loved one knows that the diagnosis of the disease is terminal, you should discuss with your doctor the possibilities of hospice care (end-of-life care) and palliative care (end-of-life care). Incurable disease). You should be informed of the progress of the diagnosis and what you can do to ensure your safety and comfort.
Step 2. When you're ready, let your loved ones know
It is often very difficult to make a decision, so you have to take your time and plan what you are going to say. It will be a great help if you first tell a person, a friend you trust, or a loved one, and then ask that person for support later. If it is difficult for you to chat with friends and family, consider seeing a counselor or joining a support group.
People will react to this news in different ways, whether it is anger or sadness, but know that it is because they love you and worry about you
Step 3. Find a support group of patients with the same illness as you
Being around others who understand your pain will help you get to know your feelings better and deal with grief. Know that you are not alone in this ordeal and that the advice and suggestions of other people could be beneficial for you.
- There are often groups specific to each type of death, including groups for those who have lost a parent or spouse, groups for people battling cancer, etc.
- This site has a detailed list of support groups and their contacts.
Step 4. Look at your life in smaller, manageable sections
Don't jump to conclusions about your prognosis, wondering how you will spend the last year of your life. Instead, think about what you can achieve in a week or a month, enjoy every moment. Don't feel like you have to do it all at once.
Step 5. Live your life to the fullest
Spend your days doing what you love. Talk to other people about your care and spend time with your family. Even if there are days when you feel quite weak or tired, do something that makes you happy.
- Ask your friends and family to help you move around if you are feeling weak.
- Talk to your doctor about possible solutions for dealing with the pain if it is preventing you from living your life to the fullest.
Step 6. Prepare for your death
Make sure your will is up to date and clearly state your last will to your family, loved ones and doctors. While you should certainly do this when you feel ready, not putting your life in order before you die can make things more difficult for those close to you.
Step 7. If someone you love is at the end of an illness, give them love and support
Although you may think you are treating him or her illness, the best thing you can do for a friend who is terminally ill is to be by their side. Go with him to his medical visits, help him with household chores and be there to talk to him. While you should be in control of your own emotions, you should devote yourself to your friendship as much as you can.
Don't play the “hero”. You are there to support your friend and that is the only thing you can do for them
Method 3 of 3: Bring up the topic of death to your children
Step 1. Know that children's reactions to death vary with age
The older a child, the more prepared they are to overcome bereavement. Young children, like preschoolers, may take a long time to understand what death is, rather than seeing it as a temporary separation. On the other hand, high school students can understand the irreversibility of death and its causes.
- Some younger children may generalize the definition of death in order to understand it. For example, after witnessing the infamous 9/11, some toddlers might associate death with entering tall towers.
- Let your child guide the conversations about death, as they will ask the questions they think are important and this will help you with your decision and how to behave.
Step 2. Talk to your children about death
Death is often a foreign concept for young children. The idea that our loved ones will still not be present must be learned and parents can provide love and support to children as they prepare for death. Although this conversation is difficult to tackle, you should be yourself and be there for your child.
- Answer the different questions with simple and direct answers and not with euphemisms like “we lost him” or “he left”.
- Be truthful. Minimizing negative thoughts will only confuse your child later on and damage their trust in you.
Step 3. Speak simply and clearly about the death of a loved one to your child
Don't whisper, make up stories, or wait “the right time” to tell her. If a child learns of the death of a loved one from someone else, it can be upsetting and hurtful for them and they will not know where to turn for advice.
A loved one you trust could talk to your child about the death of a loved one as much as possible so that they feel protected
Step 4. Encourage your child to confide in you
As with adults, children may have difficulty expressing themselves or may not know when to speak. Encourage them to talk about how they feel, but respect their choices if they are silent or uncomfortable. Feeling under pressure will only confuse them more and make it harder to accept their pain.
Step 5. Help them reinforce the beautiful memories
Tell the children about the beautiful times they spent with the deceased, look at the photos of the happy times, make an effort to stay positive. Although it will be difficult for you to recall these memories, it can help anyone overcome negative emotions.
Step 6. Let your child participate in the funeral ceremonies
By letting a child recite a poem at the funeral, take flowers or tell a story about the loved one, you involve them in the grieving process. He will feel that he has some control over his feelings and may in some way pay homage to the deceased.
Step 7. Be yourself, even if you are grieving
Although parents should always be supportive of their children, there are times when children behave the same way as you. If you resist showing how you feel, crying, or talking about the death of your loved one, your child will likely do the same.
Step 8. Find out when your kids need extra help
Although the majority of children can learn to come to terms with the death of a loved one over time, there are cases where a death affects the child severely and the advice of a trained mental health professional may be necessary.. Look for the following symptoms:
- disorders that affect basic tasks
- nocturnal enuresis
- persistent irritability, mood swings, or sadness
- a lack of self-esteem and confidence
- sudden provocative or sexual behavior.
- Know that people who are about to die want you to be happy.
- Know that it's okay to cry. It's good to be sad or to be angry
- Remember every special and happy moment you shared with the deceased.
- Know that he loved you, that he watches over you and protects you.
- Know that this person now rests in peace and no longer suffers.
- Surround yourself with your loved ones.
- Remember that time will ease your pain and sadness.
- Tackling yourself or others will not help you.
- Meditate or pray.