Accepting How Your Loved One Died
Grief is a powerful and complex emotion, especially when coping with the loss of a loved one. For many people, confronting the cause of death can be a difficult process. However, it can be an important step in working through your grief. Looking back to those moments can be painful, but ultimately it can be important to come to terms with the circumstances of your loved one’s passing. This article will explore how to explore this side of your grief, and why it can be a healing experience.
Seeking Therapy or Grief Counseling
Before we explore your grief, it is important to understand the resources out there for you. Therapists or grief counselors can help you find a more personalized way to work through your grief. Above all, the journey of your grief can be a deeply personal, and painful, process. A licensed grief counselor or therapist can help you through this process, and provide you with someone to talk to about your feelings, in a safe space. Many churches and community organizations may also offer counseling or group workshops for those dealing with grief. If you need help, don’t be afraid to reach out.
Reviewing the Details
It can be incredibly stressful to review the details surrounding your loved one’s death. If it is too painful, consider taking time to relax before trying again later. Grief in this manner can often seem like an open wound that needs to be left to heal. But wounds often need care, as well as time to heal.
Ultimately, accepting the circumstances of their passing can be hard. Acceptance is the last stage of grief for a reason. Below are some different causes of death, and how one might work towards dealing with their loss. These are not cut-and-dry solutions, but merely suggestions on how to potentially work through the situation.
Loss from a car accident or other sudden tragedy can be unexpected. Grief from a sudden and unexpected event can be hard to process because of the jarring nature of the event. It may be painful to visit the site of the accident. After the death of a loved one from a car crash, some people find it almost impossible to get behind the wheel themselves. However you find difficulty processing the event, it can be helpful to take steps toward dealing with it. Going to the location of the crash, reading the police report, or even getting behind the wheel yourself can be hard. If you are struggling with driving after losing a loved one in an accident, consider riding with a close friend or family member first. For more information on sudden loss and grief, read our article here.
Coping with the loss of a loved one can be a different type of grief. Many family members have time to prepare for this loss as the health of their loved one deteriorates. However, this does not negate your feelings of grief. Even with time to prepare, the loss can still feel incredibly painful. Many people that lose a loved one to a terminal illness may feel anxiety regarding that disease. That is completely normal. You should talk to your doctor about risk factors, screenings, and ways that you might work towards prevention.
After a loved one passes away from suicide, close friends and family members may feel guilty as part of their grief. It is common to feel like you could have done more, or that you should have noticed the signs. It is OK to feel this way. But, you also have to understand that there is no way of knowing the answers to these “what if” questions. Accepting what happened can be difficult, but it is also a necessary step in the grieving process.
Dealing With Stress and Self-Blame
Many people feel guilt or stress concerning the loss of their loved ones. Some blame themselves or others for the passing. Others may experience depression, anxiety, or even PTSD. There is no cut-and-dry way to resolve these feelings. Understanding and accepting the circumstances of your loved one’s death can be an avenue towards healing. If you need help processing this stress, consider talking with a professional grief counselor or therapist.
Guilt and the Passing of a Loved One
Guilt can be from things said or done before their passing, but it can also be from the events of their death. It is common for those present at the time of death to feel guilt for their actions, or inactions, as their loved one was passing. Ultimately, you must realize that you cannot change the past. Writing a letter to your deceased loved one can help you work through some of this guilt. Additionally, just talking through these feelings with a trusted friend or family can be helpful.
The author of this post is not a professional therapist or counselor. For assistance in finding a grief counselor that is right for you, there are a number of resources out there. For our Grief Resource Center, written by Dr. Bill Webster, click here.
For over 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way.