How to Deal With the Loss of Someone Close to You
A significant issue of mid-life is dealing with the death of a parent, or some other significant person in your life. The loss of someone that we have relied on is the ultimate experience of change. Generally, in today's culture, people have not had much preparation for dealing with the feelings related to profound loss. The following are some tips that others have found helpful in such a difficult time. For more information about the stages of loss read Death and Dying by Elizabeth Kubler Ross.
Give yourself permission to grieve in your own way, taking your own time.
Realize that the grieving process will probably seem to come and go in waves.
Sort out the different problems associated with the loss and respond to those that are more easily remedied.
Consider whether the societal idea of letting go and moving on is right for you.
Allow yourself to continue the relationship with your loved one in your heart and mind if it suits you to do so.
Allow yourself to talk about your loved one and encourage those around you to do so if you find this helpful.
Draw on relationships with friends and family.
Consider joining support groups of people going through similar experiences.
Turn to God or spirituality in any way that you find meaningful.
Create or continue whatever rituals of relationship that you would find sustaining, such as talking to your loved one or celebrating your anniversary or their birthday.
Feel free to enjoy your memories and keep them part of your experience.
Try taking on interests and activities of your loved one. You may feel closer to them by carrying on something that they would be doing if they were still alive.
Assume that there is a right way of responding to your love one's death.
Allow yourself to be pushed to move on or to be finished grieving.
Be silenced about your loved one if you find it meaningful to talk about him or her.
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