Grief and Coping with the Necessities that Follow Loss
Today's post has very kindly been written by Shelia. Sheila runs a blog over at wellsheila.net, that talks all things wellness and personal health. In today's guest post, she has focused on grief and the stages you can take to help get you on your way to overcoming that initial stage of grief we all go through when we lose the ones we love.
We often hear that there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. You may go through these five stages, but they don't always come in the same order or for a specific amount of time - everyone experiences it differently.
One part of this process is having to handle all the tasks that come along with your loved one's passing. From planning the funeral to sorting through your loved one's belongings, these tasks can be overwhelming. You can't avoid them, just like you can't avoid grief, but there are ways to make these events easier to cope with.
Give Yourself Time
After someone passes, there are certain things that need to be done in the first few days and weeks. There are legal and financial issues, like probating the estate and carrying out final wishes. With these initial tasks, give yourself time to make decisions without being rushed. When planning the funeral, take the time to communicate with friends and family members about making the right decisions; after all, the average funeral costs around £4417, so it's not an endeavour you should try to hurry or tackle on your own. During this time, check your loved one's burial insurance policy (if they had one) to see whether it will cover the cost of any lingering medical bills or debt. Also, enlist the help of your loved ones to help you write a meaningful obituary, which will help bring some peace and comfort to all of you. Giving yourself permission to take care of both of these necessities without rushing eases the pressure and helps you reflect on your loved one in a positive way.
When it comes to the things that don't have to be done right away, such as cleaning out your loved one's belongings, continue to give yourself the time you need. You may feel like you need distance from those belongings, or you may find comfort in them. Either way, you don't want to make major decisions right now, and that includes decisions about what goes and what stays.
Lean on Your Tribe
The time after a loss can feel lonely, but that doesn't mean you have to be alone. The blog What's Your Grief recommends asking for and being willing to accept help. If accepting help feels difficult, remember that you would do the same for your loved ones. It's important to care for yourself at this time, and part of that is letting others lighten your load.
While there are some things you'll naturally want to handle on your own, you may feel that other tasks require someone by your side. For example, if you're selling your home and purchasing a new one, you may feel a little overwhelmed doing this on your own. Figuring out how much you can afford to spend, searching for a home, working with a real estate agent - these things can cause stress, so make sure you have someone you can trust to help.
On the flip side, you should prepare for the fact that some people can be harder to deal with than others. Psychology Today explains that you will encounter frustrating situations with people; some will say inappropriate things, while others may post about your loved one's death on social media when you aren't ready to. It's perfectly acceptable to set some ground rules. You already have a lot on your plate, and setting these ground rules for social interactions is one small way you can make this easier on yourself.
Take Care of Yourself
Between everything you have to manage and the powerful emotions of grief, it's easy to let your own needs slide. You may have trouble sleeping or not have much of an appetite. This is normal, but you still need to care for yourself. Try to make sure your basic nutritional needs are met, and find some tools to help you rest better. Along with these basics, avoid the urge to constantly stay busy with what you feel needs to be done. Take some time for healthy grief activities like artistic expression and deep breathing.
Healthy grieving may look different for you than it does for someone else, and that's OK. Remember that there isn't a right or wrong way to mourn your loss. Everyone has to grieve in their own way, on their own time. Just be sure to give yourself some grace and patience, and don't lose yourself in the process of trying to do it all.
Once again, I would like to thank Sheila for writing this post and please make sure you head over to her blog, which I have linked at the top of this post.
If you have any questions about anything that has been mentioned in this post, or would just like a chat with me about anything and everything, please feel free to either send me an email or DM on Twitter or Instagram. My DMs are always open and I am happy to help in any way I can.
Remember: you will come out of the other side of this.
Love Beth xx