Dealing with the death of a close family member can be one of the most emotionally difficult and trying experiences of your life. To suddenly have someone you loved taken from you can make it feel like your world is ending. How do you go on without them? How do you recover from such a loss? You find yourself wishing that someone could say all the right magical words to you and cause the pain to disappear.
The truth is, however, that there are no magical words that can just instantly make the pain disappear. Of course everyone is different in how they react to loss, but they still all react in some way. Some people close in on themselves and withdraw from the world for a while. Others become angry; at life, the universe, a higher being, or the person who died. No matter what happens, someone will have to make some hard decisions. The funeral will need be planned and the burial casket will need to be selected. Everyone deals with death in different ways. Still others become almost manically happy and energetic, throwing themselves into every activity and task they can find so that they don’t have to think about how upset they really are.
No one can really predict how they will handle a close family member dying. Even if you have time to prepare for it, when it actually happens it can strike you a lot harder than you expected it too. One of the most important things you can do for yourself at this time is gather a group – large or small – of support people to have around you. Friends and other family members you can turn to at any time, day or night, who will talk to you and spend time with you as you need it. Reaching out when you are sad or depressed can seem difficult, but if you do so with people that really love you, you shouldn’t be afraid. They will want to help you through the tough time.
Some people find that it helps them to go to support groups where they can meet up and talk with other people who have been through similar losses. While talking to a friend who has never suffered from a death in the family may seem pointless to you, talking to people who understand almost exactly what you are going through can be very freeing. Support groups give you a safe space to cry, yell, and most of all talk about what you are going through and how much the experience is hurting you.
Everyone gets over death in their own way, and in their own time. You don’t have to try and feel better on someone else’s timetable. Do what feels right for you. You will get through it some day, and that is what really matters.