When someone we love is ripped from our lives it is a shock
to our entire system. We can quickly become overwhelmed by so many feelings as
we try to wrap our head around the fact that someone was here one moment and
gone the next. Sometimes people fall to their knees when they receive that
horrible news, while other times it seems surreal or unimaginable and the news
takes time to settle in. There is no right way to respond to the news of a
loved ones death. How someone dies, though, may influence your feelings,
including regrets, last memories, unspoken words, fears that run away with your
imagination, and other factors around the death itself. It is not uncommon to
feel paralyzed and unable to find a way forward in those early hours, days, and
weeks. It is so important to take care of yourself and to ask for help.
Here are some things to consider:
- Lean on a trustworthy and dependable friend or
family members –you may feel like you have a handle on the situation, but grief
can be deceiving. A reliable friend can speak honestly with you and help guide
you, especially through tough decisions.
- Be kind to yourself – grief can create a fog for
quite some time. Life may seem fuzzy and confusing and that’s because it
probably is at this time. Mistakes, forgetfulness, irritability, confusion, and
other attributes that aren’t like you may have a strong presence for a while.
That’s okay. There is nothing to hide.
- Don’t make any big financial decisions or
unnecessary life altering changes – give grief time. Grief can change your
perspective, which is not a bad thing, but as you settle into a new routing and
a new normal, you may develop more clarity around how to move forward.
- Pace yourself – the shock of it all can be so
confusing. Try to prioritize what you need to do versus what can wait.
- Give yourself permission – as Sheryl Sandberg,
author of Option B, says, “lean into the suck” and do what you need to do to
care for yourself and family.
TEDx Talks - Everything Around Them is Still There, Dealing with Sudden Loss
TEDx Talks - Beyond Closure