Coping with the death of a loved one is an unfortunate, painful reality of life. There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to grieving properly because everyone handles sorrow differently. What can you do once the funeral is over and everyone returns to their normal lives? Here are some suggestions.
Talk to someone.
There is no shame in reaching out for help when you need the support. Losing a loved one can rob a person of the ability to socialize, work, and handle everyday life. A counselor or grief therapist will help you work through your feelings and provide you with a safe, judgment-free space where you can share your innermost thoughts. If you feel more comfortable, confiding in a friend or family member can also be helpful.
Cry when you need to.
Tears and grief go hand in hand. Don’t feel that you need to hold back or keep your emotions closeted. When you need to cry—whether you’re at the funeral or home in your bedroom—allow yourself to do just that. There’s a certain freedom associated with crying, and you may feel a bit of relief simply by releasing the pent-up emotions inside.
Remember the special moments.
The year following the loss of a loved one can be traumatic. The “firsts,” such as birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays, are particularly difficult. One way to handle those types of moments is to continue the loving traditions you shared when your loved one was alive. Create new celebrations that honor your special relationship.
Once the funeral is over and everyone has gone home, a sense of abandonment and loneliness may wash over you. It’s natural—but it doesn’t have to be the norm. Don’t feel that you can’t reach out to someone who cares. Some funeral homes even offer grief support services. Keeping yourself connected may seem difficult at the time, but it’s a good way to establish a “lifeline” of sorts that will prevent those feelings of isolation.
If you take comfort in your work or find solace in working out, don’t hesitate to continue down those paths. Anything that brings you even temporary relief is wonderful. Just don’t overdo it so much that you miss out on the chance to grieve properly. Pushing those feelings far beneath the surface can be detrimental to your emotional health over time.
Feel guilty about anything.
Don’t fall into the trap of wishing you had done more or said something specific to your loved one. Those emotions only bring guilt—and that’s not a feeling that is conducive to healthy grieving. Remember that your loved one would never want you to be sad or experience such deep personal agony.
Porto Funeral Homes has served New Haven County, CT, since 1931. The caring, compassionate staff will help you every step of the way in the aftermath of a loss, whether you’re planning a funeral or arranging cremation services. You can visit the funeral home’s website to find out more about these and other services, including making pre-arrangements for funerals. Or, call (203) 467-3000 for East Haven or (203) 934-5000 for their West Haven location.