A Survivor’s Guide To Grief

The immeasurable grief that comes with the passing of a loved one is next to none. The hole that is left, and the life that needs to be re-built, takes immense effort to endure and is taxing emotionally and mentally. The vital process of acknowledging your grief and channelling it into building your new life will be one of the most complicated processes you ever have to push through. The changes that come after the passing of a loved one can be both heartbreaking and enlightening. The pressure on your financial well-being may also change, which can cause more stress in an already sensitive situation. But this does not have to be the case. We are here to help you through this process.

Acknowledge Your Grief 

The death of a loved one, be it a partner, child, sibling, parent or close friend, can be devastating. The bereavement of such an essential figure in your life can lead to emotional changes, but also physical changes. The trauma you experience can present itself in loss or gain of appetite, sleep changes, and weakened overall immunity. We always tend to think of emotional shock, but not being able to cope with the emotions can also lead to increased severity of physical symptoms. The first step in starting the bereavement process is to acknowledge your grief. 

It is crucial not to try and work away your grief by utilizing distraction. Sitting with your grief and accepting that it is there – and not going away quickly – is the most crucial part of the grief process. The immense pain you feel is valid and can be dealt with in a healthy way that also helps you celebrate your loved one’s life fully. 

A hurdle you might have to overcome to acknowledge your grief is the manner of your loved one’s passing. Oftentimes an unexpected or traumatic death might bring an extra load of guilt, questions, sorrow and anger that you have to deal with before you can find peace. For example, fighting legal battles can lengthen the grief process and force you to deal with otherworldly situations before you can get personal with your own grief. Legal documentation, dealing with policies, clearing out houses and taking care of belongings are more unavoidable hurdles that will keep you busy – and out of touch with your feelings. Or, in the long run, it can keep reminding you of intense memories. Taking your time to work through these memories is a key point in accepting your loved one’s death. 

The loss of a life partner or spouse will leave a gaping hole in your daily routine that you would have to face every day – and coming to terms with it will be a process. Oftentimes you will be overcome multiple times a day as you encounter a memory, object or action your spouse was inclined to do or enjoy. Coming to terms with their death means confronting these instances and not wishing them away or ignoring them. Acknowledging how you feel in the moment allows you to celebrate their life as well, not just mourn their death. Celebrating their life can be a positive way to keep them close to you and give you purpose throughout the hard parts of the day. 

A Good Support System is Key

Going through the loss of a loved one is not meant to be a solitary process – a human is inclined to share and lean on others in times of need. Having a good support system during your time of greatest need will help you through the process. Allowing yourself to seek the help of others might be difficult to admit at first – but as you realize how much comfort it can bring, it will allow you to open up about your grief. 

Your support system might not always come from the place you expect, so make sure you don’t get caught up in being alone. Online support, counselling, support groups, friends and family might all be sources of support. Many people also find spirituality or religion to be a source of support; church, church members, events and services can be a way for a religious person to seek solace and support. 

Whenever you find a friendly ear if you are feeling overwhelmed, or a supporting hand when you are overrun, grab onto the people that will help you stay afloat. The people who are there to acknowledge your grief with you are the ones who will help you deal with it in a positive way. 

Choose To Remember Them 

Grief always has a way of connecting people, and it’s an emotion that binds us to others. However, it can be during solitary moments that the death of a loved one hits us, and it’s in those moments when we can be reminded that grief is a road every person takes at one stage or another. It is what connects us as humans. When we pour this grief into something tangible, we find purpose in the loss. Use your creativity, passions, talents, and emotions to grow it into a new project that celebrates your loved one’s death. 

Start a memorial scrapbook – this will give you the time to look at photographs and recall memories that might be painful at first but can serve as a testament to their life and love. This activity can be done by several friends and family as a group project, allowing you to start conversations and talk about what the person meant to you, sharing the love and ultimately the grief. 

Keep on enjoying their favourite activities. Many people find a feeling of immense guilt creeping up when they enjoy life without their loved one. It seems like a betrayal at first, but it is in fact, a celebration. Do things you used to do together – or the things you always spoke about but never did. Take this as an opportunity to fill your life with joy, which is something your loved one would have wanted for you. 

Your Loved One and Their Estate 

A headache for many after the death of a loved one is handling the financial burdens, paperwork and management that come along with it. We hate to admit it, but it also scares many of us to think about the aftermath of a passing – it influences every aspect of our lives, and finances are one of the major aspects impacted. The good news is that you do not have to do it alone. Getting an industry-leading wealth manager on your team will ensure your loved one’s wishes are respected and implemented with minimum fuss. 

Where finances are involved, estate management can be tinged with emotion, and oftentimes emotion overrides reason. This is where the benefit of having a professional step in can truly be felt. 

You might also realize during this time that your own finances are not in place or managed correctly. This will give you the opportunity to get your estate planning on track for your own loved ones in the event of your passing – a significant step to take in ensuring the safety of your assets. 

The grieving process of a loved one’s passing will indeed be filled with many ups and downs, but recalling that the process can be healthy is necessary. You can traverse the grief with a helping hand to ensure the process leaves your beautiful memories intact.