Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, “The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.” When we lose someone young, it sometimes feels that their life burned all the more brightly before being extinguished. The death of the young, including babies, children, teenagers and young adults, often hits the hardest. While the pain of losing a young loved one will never go away, it is possible to learn to cope with the emotions you are feeling.
Indulge Your Feelings
If you are a parent who has lost a young child, you may find that you are incapable of taking part in everyday life.
Memories will serve as your best medicine. You will find yourself holding on to every snippet and aspect of his or her short life. You’ll want to remember everything in great detail, searching for every moment, from sweet and silly to outrageous and horrifying. You’ll relish any conversation about your child and listen intently to any story from other family members or friends. It will make you feel good to learn how loved and cherished your child was by others.
Allow yourself to feel all of your feelings. Be kind and compassionate towards yourself.
Understand What to Expect
Everyone who grieves goes through different emotional stages. Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross came up with the five stages of grief [link to blog 3] to categorise the emotional stages that we go through when grieving, in order to be able to move forward in life. The stages are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.
Everyone grieves differently and grief tends to be a rollercoaster. You will experience all of these stages, but not necessarily in order and not necessarily only once. However, it is important to know that there is nothing wrong with you and that you are going through all of this because it is normal and because you have to. Don’t ignore your emotions or push them away. Allow yourself to really feel each stage of grief so that you can eventually look towards the future.
Lean on Others
If you have lost someone, you should not shut yourself out from the rest of the world. You must share your loss in order to make the burden of grief lighter. There are many outlets for support and you should accept help when it comes and not grieve alone.
You can turn to friends and family who care about you. Tell your loved ones what you need. Most people who love you want to help, but are simply unsure of how to. If you are spiritual, you can draw comfort from your faith, or you can join a support group.
Alternatively, you can turn to the help of a therapist or grief counsellor. They can help you work through intense emotions and overcome obstacles.
Losing a young loved one is the most heartbreaking and traumatic of losses. Hetherington Funerals in Perth is a family-run funeral home. We are here to help with everything from coping with death to funeral planning. To learn more, contact us today.