Preparing for the loss of a loved one

Grieving, albeit a completely natural process, can be a huge distressful and painful experience. Usually, the experience of grieving, if we know in advance that someone is reaching the end of his or her life, partly begins before their death occurs.

So much is written about death itself. But much less is written about how to prepare for the death of a loved one as It a topic not everyone dares to talk about. It makes us sad, anxious, and extremely uncomfortable to even think about the loss of a loved one, let alone experience it. While things are going along fine, thinking about death in the future may seem so remote from life in the present that there is no cause to be concerned about it now.

It is quite impossible to be prepared for the loss of a loved one, to a certain extent as it is a time of overwhelming emotions. Despite these feelings, however, it can be possible to plan for this difficult time, particularly to ease any practical issues surrounding the eventual death. This can particularly help reduce the complications in the first hours and days of bereavement, and also later as you struggle to carry on. It can be comforting to Take actions in advance because you are able just to cope with the circumstances without the added pressure to sort things out and “get yourself together”.

Below are a few ways to cope up with this experience:

  • Know that you will deeply mourn the loss: 

From a therapeutic point of view, mourning is the process of separating or de-cathect from the deceased. It is a bit more than physical separation as this is the process of withdrawing and detaching the emotional and mental energy with which the deceased has been invested.

This may look cruel and harsh. Of course, no one wants to be told they need to go through this process. But to eventually get on with your life, it is essential. Otherwise, it may become very difficult for a person to live life fully moving forward as he may remain emotionally stuck. 

  • Prepare children by explaining the situation: 

Children should be explained intensively about the whole situation and how they are likely to feel at the time of death and afterward. They should be Warned about any practical arrangements that are most likely to be changed. Keep their school informed and consider looking for a specially-trained counsellor to help them.

  • Build a network of caring people:

People around you like your neighbours, family friends, colleagues, and strangers in a self-help group who have already experienced such a mishap can give support. Let them know what you’re going through and tell them that their support may be required a lot more than usual and warn them about not being able to contact them for a while and not to feel offended by it.

It is important to know when to ask for help as well as being allowed to be alone with your thoughts. One of the keys to coping is to think of it as a normal natural part of life that can be discussed anytime without discomfort or fear.

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