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How to Help Your Family Handle the Death of a Loved One

The death of a loved one can be particularly trying for your family, but there are ways to make managing the unfortunate event easier. By taking care of all the important details and finding the best ways to cope following the death, you and your family will be able to come to terms with the situation better. Here are a few ways to help your family handle the death of a loved one.

Give Everyone the Chance to Grieve

Grieving is a natural response when someone special dies, and you and your family should give yourselves permission to grieve without judgment. There is no right way to grieve, and the way that each person deals with the loss should be respected unless it is causing themselves or others harm. The time that it takes for your family to grieve properly can also vary from person to person, and it’s important to give each person as much time as needed to experience all the emotions and give themselves closure so that they can move on from the death easier.

Help the Children Cope

If you have any young children in your family, they should receive special attention so that they can process the death of a loved one easier. When discussing the death, it’s important to be honest without using terms like “passed on” or “went to sleep,” as these terms could be confusing to children and might be taken literally. Children who are emotionally more sensitive may be more susceptible to crying for long periods, and you’ll want to be there to comfort them in their time of grief.

Settle Financial and Estate Matters

If the deceased person still has money in their bank accounts or left behind a will, you’ll want to settle these matters soon after the death. If the person lived in the Houston area, a Houston probate lawyer can validate the authenticity of their will and obtain appraisals of all their property to minimize any disputes that may arise among beneficiaries. It’s also important to make sure that all the person’s heirs are identified and notified when the person has died so that you won’t have to worry about dealing with anyone coming forward to claim their share of the person’s estate after you thought that everything was settled.

Prepare for Off-putting Responses

Most people outside your family will likely be supportive in your time of grief and show nothing but sympathy and compassion, but others may say or do things that are deemed inappropriate and offensive. Letting your family members know that they may hear off-putting responses will help everyone prepare better emotionally. As Psychology Today explains, offensive responses from others may include blaming the death of your loved one on their lifestyle choices, such as smoking or being overweight. Some people who weren’t as close to your loved one may also try to express their grief and tell you about the difficulty they’ve had coming to terms with your loved one’s death even though this is likely feigned emotion, and this can cause you to feel additional anger or sadness that you and your family should prepare yourselves to face.

Make Special Keepsakes

Keepsakes are items that can serve as memories of loved one’s who’ve passed. These pieces of memorabilia also provide ways to celebrate the person’s life better and honor their memory. Capsule ornaments, which were originally used to celebrate the birth of children, are now often used as keepsakes to remember deceased loved ones. Lockets that have the person’s name and birth and death years engraved on them can be customized and worn as special jewelry. Special notes or letters that were perhaps written by the person or created to honor their memory can be framed or laminated and displayed in certain areas of your home. You can also put a favorite picture of the person inside a frame and display it on one of your tables or counters.

Losing a loved one is never easy, but you can make the situation more manageable for your family if the right steps are taken. Doing everything that’s necessary to process the emotional trauma and deal with other affairs following the death will make it easier for everyone in your family to move on with greater peace of mind.

Tim Esterdahl

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