Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

What You Should Do After a Death in the Family

Nothing could ever prepare you for the passing of a loved one. Death is impartial to age, gender, culture, and social status. It is the shared agony of the human experience. You are left with profound feelings of loss and cycling emotions. If you have lost a precious friend or loved one recently, the raw grief may have you feeling alone and hopeless. While everyone grieves differently, these are some gentle suggestions that may help you along your journey of grief and healing.

Be Kind to Yourself

No matter if you lose someone from an extended illness or a tragic accident, it all hurts the same. The overwhelming shock and emotion take a toll on your body, mind, and spirit. Allow yourself to grieve in a way that helps you best. Remember that you will probably cycle through different emotions for a while. Give yourself time and realize that we do not “get over” a death. We find ways of coping with a new normal. Treat yourself the way you would treat a friend who has experienced loss.

Talk to Someone

Not everyone feels comfortable grieving in public. You may need a season of solitude for private reflection. Grief only becomes a problem when you stay isolated and lose interest in living. It is common for people to experience depression after losing someone. Talk to a trusted friend or spiritual leader about your feelings.

If depression overwhelms you and you feel hopeless or have suicidal thoughts, seek a professional counselor as soon as possible. There is no shame or weakness in getting psychological help with grieving. If your loved one was the victim of a wrongful death situation, consider talking to a wrongful death accident lawyer about your family’s legal recourse.

Take your Time

Whoever said that time heals all wounds was disillusioned. While time can be a useful tool for grieving, it is not an eraser for your loss. Give yourself time to restructure your life and habits as you see fit. Politely ignore well-meaning people who may try to console you with speeches and a healing timeline. Mourn at your own pace; however, it helps you.

Use Memories for Comfort

Are there specific pictures, activities, and memories with your departed loved one that make you smile? Integrate them into your life as much as possible for comfort. Create scrapbooks or new ways to honor your loved one’s memory that will be helpful in the time to come.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve. You must give yourself the time and space you need to mourn the loss of your loved one. In time, you will find the memories comforting and they will sustain you through the tough times.

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Integrated Family Community Services is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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IFCS’ Tax ID # 84-0579740