Whew, that was Intense! – Prepare for the Post Support Lull

Most often when death occurs there is a fair bit of support; medical and professional staff from the health care system, expert staff from the funeral home, and perhaps hospice or therapy if needed.  There is usually strong support from friends, family members and co-workers too.  Everyone is focused on the tasks at hand and generally speaking very supportive.

As time passes and the funeral ceremony is complete the level of support starts to naturally dwindle.  Obviously the help from the health care system winds down, professional support from the funeral home or crematorium ends.  The support from friends and family slowly diminishes as everyone gets back to their own lives.

In a matter of days, more often weeks, the beehive of activity subsides and things including you are expected to get back to normal.  All of a sudden it seems you may feel like you are on your own, and in many cases you can be.  Friends at work may not know what to say to you and may hang back because they don’t want to upset you.  Neighbors may get back to life as it was before the death.  Many people may be done with their grief process, though you may not be.  You could feel alone in your post funeral slump.

Although this is not intentional, it often is quite a predictable path.  Knowing this and not taking it personally you can expect this lull in contact, support and attention.  In order to prepare for this change make plans for you and your family to spend quality family time together.  Help you children plan sleepovers and outings.  Plan enjoyable events and gatherings for yourself too!  These plans are not to distract you from your natural grief process, more to bring a better balance back in to your life.

If you are living alone it can be a real shock to go from close quarters and lots of contact with others to being on your own.  It can be easy to slip into a lonely life and a form of depression.  Be sure to set up ‘dates’ with friends, co-workers and family.  You could join a social group or exercise club.

Again, this strategy is not to avoid healthy alone time when you can grieve on your own, it is to make sure you have good balance in your life.  Too much contact can be overwhelming and too much alone time can be avoidance.  If you have a tendency to be a bit of a lone wolf, it might be a good idea to ask your close friends to help you create a well-balanced social calendar for a month or two after the death.

Either way, living in a family setting or alone, it is important to expect the post funeral slump in attention and support and also in your mental state.  This awareness and some good planning will help you regain important balance in your changed life.

 

Much Love

Stephen Garrett Cam Robinson Authentic Jersey

Keeping Their Spirit Alive – Death Inspired Goals

I remember clearly the moments I was lowering my younger sister’s body into her gravesite.  I made a solemn oath that her death would not be in vain.  I committed to discover the truth about life and death.  I intended to make sense of Jody’s passing.  I set a goal!

Looking back at this intention, I noticed that this was a way I began to make sense of Jody’s unexpected and sudden death.  In a way it gave meaning to her death and helped me along my journey to acceptance of her passing.  In a very direct way it breathed a new sense of life into me.

Here are a few of the commitments I made as a result of my own experience of loss of a loved one:

I intended to stay closer with my brother Peter and my Mom.

Tell my children more often how much I loved them and how proud I am of them.

Write books that would help people.

Change my career.

 

Setting a personal goal as a result of the loss of a loved one is a real way to honor their death by creating new life.  My goal to make sense out of life and death ultimately resulted in this book!  Death of my sister – birth of this book.

In the case of death, a new life or a new sense of life must emerge

 somewhere in the family unit.

Once the busy times surrounding the death have settled and you have a bit of breathing room and personal time I encourage you to create for yourself some goals which are inspired by the loss.  These goals can reflect a realization you have gained, an insight or learning resulting from the death.

Take a look at any regrets or ‘wish I hads’ that arise for you when you think about your loved one.  Here are some common regrets people close to death often speak about:

 

I wish I’d had the courage to live my life, not the life others expected of me.

I wish I didn’t worked so hard.

I wish I’d had the courage to express myself more fully. 

I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends and family.

I wish that I had expressed the happiness I felt

 

There are many other regrets that folks nearing death experience and I am sure if you recall conversations with the loved one of yours you can add to this basic list.

Here is what you can do with these gems of wisdom.  Take as an example number 4 on this list.  Your loved one expressed that they wished they had stayed in touch with friends and family.  If this regret moved you and you feel inspired to live your life differently you could set a goal such as:

 

I will call each of my family members at least once each week.

 

Whatever regrets you feel might end up coming out of your mouth as you prepare for your own death would be good ones to set goals around right now.  Once you have created these goals make sure to let your friends and family know so they can support you in accomplishing them.  Perhaps your actions will inspire them to join you in remembering all of your loved ones in this unique way.

Setting great life goals inspired by the loss of a loved one is a genuine way to honor their life wisdom keeping their spirit alive in you.

 

Much Love

Stephen Garrett Nolan Cromwell Jersey