The author of the article
From the book of Bob Deits "The morning after the loss"
FIRST RESPONSE TO HARD LOSS
What do you do when they say the word “death”? If you are the same as everyone, you are shocked first. Then you are ready to do anything, but the first few days pass, as if in a fog, later you cannot remember them.
It makes no sense to plan what you will do in the first hours and days after the news of the loss. It is impossible to foresee how you will behave in the event of the death of a dear person. Even if you already had other losses, in each case you react differently.
The best I can tell you about behavior after receiving bad news is that your every reaction will be correct and normal. Someone loses his temper, someone is as cold as ice. Some are filled with tears, others show organizational activity.
You can’t say which reaction is better and which is worse. If you do not get hysterical, it does not mean that you are insensitive. If you are crying, it does not mean that you are weaker than the one with dry eyes.
In the long run, tears are beneficial. This is a good sign. There is an iron rule: if three months after the loss you have not recovered, you may need to seek advice.
But you know yourself better than anyone. If in other cases you were not prone to tears, you probably should not wait for them now. If at first you don’t want to cry, don’t let that bother you! If after a while you feel that you want to cry, but you do not succeed, contact a professional for help.
AFTER THE DEATH OF A FAVORITE PERSON TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF When you are faced with bereavement, you must take care of yourself. Here is a seven-point program that needs to be adopted and followed strictly to help you endure the difficult time after the loss.
1. Think about your state of health before losing. If you have recently been ill, or if you have heart problems, high blood pressure or other serious diseases in your medical history, consult a doctor right now.
2. Watch for nutrition. Perhaps the food now does not represent any interest for you, but you need strength and energy. You should not remain without food for a long time, be limited to low-calorie food, abuse coffee and alcohol.
3. Speak of the dead. Talk to anyone who agrees to listen. Remember the good old days and incidents from the life of the deceased. Feel free to tell me how death came. You can catch yourself talking about it many times – it’s normal, it’s good.
4. Take time to retire. Stay before the funeral alone for a while. Say out loud: “… died (or died).” Do not say “gone,” say “dead.” You have to hear how you say it. Do not be afraid of your emotions, even hysteria does not hurt you.
5. Go to bed as close as possible to the time you are used to. Even if you do not want to sleep. It is important to stick to your daily routine. Avoid soothing yourself with pills or alcohol.
6. Let the community support you. Let it be the Church, the mosque, friends at work, club members or another group of people outside the family.
Many do not know what to say, but it does not matter. Their presence is important. Say it to everyone who comes to support you.
You may find that you are not able to pray. This is also normal. At first, you may not even remember the name of your priest or pastor. And again, do not worry about it. Faith will still help you.
7. Allow yourself to evil feelings. If you are angry with the whole world as a whole, do not stop yourself from experiencing these feelings. Worse will not be neither you nor the world nor God! Remember, even if you know the answer, it’s quite natural to ask: “Why?”
PREPARATION OF FUNERAL
Usually the funeral is held on the third – the fifth day after death. There may be delays due to the fact that family members come from far away, due to the vicissitudes of the weather, organizational difficulties, but under normal conditions it is three to five days.
Your time will be absorbed in matters for which only you can make a decision. If you are responsible for organizing the funeral, you will have to:
– Choose a funeral home (agent).
– Set the date and time of the funeral.
– Decide whether the coffin will be open during the dirge.
– Decide whether to conduct a funeral service over an open coffin.
– Choose between a burial in the ground or in a crypt, embalming or cremation. If you choose a cremation, you have to decide whether the dust will be buried in the ground, installed in a niche or scattered downwind.
– Make countless phone calls, each one as difficult as the previous one.
– Get the deceased insurance policy, passport, his (her) birth certificate and military ticket, if you have one. Solve issues with other documents.
– In some cases, decide whether an autopsy is necessary.
– Get copies of death certificate.
You do not want to do it, but you need it. In general, it is a kind of mask. Friends and distant relatives in the early days are harder than those who bear the responsibility for organizing the funeral. Often, organizing a funeral and performing other necessary procedures brings relief: you can do something concrete, real, at a time when everything seems unreal. Not bad to ask for help from a close and reliable person. Ask him to go to the funeral home with you, choose a coffin, collect clothes for the funeral. If at this time you have to drive, be very careful because you are absent-minded and have a slow reaction.
It is unfair that you have to make decisions that have long-term consequences (such as the price of a funeral), the moment when your brain is depressed, but time does not wait. Therefore, an outsider reliable person to whom you entrust affairs can provide invaluable assistance.
DAY FUNERAL The day of the funeral is naturally different from all other days of your life. If you are a family member, then become the center of attention. You might think that you are a fish in an aquarium: everyone is looking at your suffering. The only consolation in the days of the funeral – the collection of the whole family. Close relatives are talking, remembering past times and supporting each other.
If someone offers to organize the commemoration, agree.
DRUGS AND TRUNKILIZERS
Do not take tranquilizers, drugs or alcohol before the funeral. The service is built in such a way as to help you express your grief and cope with it in the most worthy way than all of the above.
For a funeral to help you cope with your grief, you should:
– Well understand what is happening.
– Be in touch with your feelings.
– Frankly express your grief.
It often happens that a funeral is your first meeting with death. The fact that you really feel your loss at a funeral can be very important in the future.
Do not pretend to be strong in front of friends and society. This is not the time to act like a superman. It’s not a matter of proving to anyone how great you know how to cope with your grief.
BODY TYPE Often this question arises: to open or not to open the coffin before the funeral? On this account there is a clear and firm rule: do what you want. There are no wrong decisions in this matter.
Many believe that the appearance of the body during the service helps to come to terms with the reality of death. When you see a loved one in a coffin, you can no longer hide from the fact of loss.
You can touch the body. When my wife’s brother died, she could not believe it until we came to his house and she did not touch her body with her hand. If you do not have to touch the dead man, then know that you will feel the cold texture of the skin at hand, and this will remove the initial shock.
If your loved one was ill for a long time before he died, he was in the hospital, hung with tubes and droppers, it might be a relief for you to see that his body has found peace.
You can first look at him in a narrow circle of close relatives before the arrival of strangers in order to overcome the shock and better control yourself in public.
On the other hand, you may wish for it to remain in your memory as you saw it in life. Perhaps the circumstances of death have changed the body so that it has become impossible, and it is undesirable to look. Or maybe you have a bad heart and you should slowly get used to the loss.
Whatever you decide, everything will be right. But the decision must be made quickly. If you hesitate, try to look at the body alone first and then decide whether you want to do it during the funeral.
DISKING SILENCE A few days after the death of a loved one, you are surrounded by family and friends. But the day comes — always too quickly — when family members return to their lives, and friends seem to be tired of messing around with you.
Two weeks after the death of her husband, Marjorie said: “One day you are in the spotlight, everyone cares about you, shares your loss. The next day you wake up – but no one. You are more lonely than ever. So quiet that you can go deaf. ” By the time the support group had gone home, the shock of losing Marjorie had already faded.
Also in churches: we take care of people for a week after the death of their loved ones, surround us with sympathy – and then disappear, like fog before dawn. It’s good that we support people during the funeral. But the real work of overcoming grief begins after a funeral and can last up to two years or longer.
PREPARE FOR LONG OVERCOMING
After a heavy loss, it will be difficult for you to ask for help for a long time. Friends will say: call me as soon as you need me. But at that moment, when they are especially needed, you will never think to call! You will be lonely. You want someone to come without any requests from you.
Most often, no one comes. This does not mean that no one worries about you. It only means that not many people understand what loss and grief are. You have to take life into your own hands. Write down some information on a piece of paper and put it near the phone.
– The name and phone number of your priest, psychologist or psychotherapist. If you do not have constant contact with the church, let it be any close person. If you can, think of other strong-willed and understanding people from among your acquaintances and put their names on the list.
In my ward, there are two thousand people I have to take care of. I have no way to help everyone at any time. I have three assistants and a group of specially trained people to share the burden of assistance, and yet sometimes you have to say no. If the first person on your list cannot help you, call another. When you find someone who agrees, remember:
– The name of your doctor, his phone number, including his home, as well as the address and phone number of the nearest hospital.
– The names and phone numbers of those family members with whom you find it easier to talk; those whom you would like to notify as a last resort. When such information will lie with you next to the phone, you will no longer be afraid that you will not be able to remember the names and phone numbers you need in a critical situation or if you are mad. It will also be a way to take life again.
“Never call at inconvenient times unless you have a crisis, and …”
– Call without hesitation if you need help.
– If you work, return to work as soon as possible. Talk with your boss, colleague, and in general with those who need to know that in the near future, you may not work as effectively as before. Assure them that your performance will be restored, and convince yourself of the same.
It may turn out that the day is going quite smoothly, but suddenly something will remind you of your loss with such force that you have to go home or take a break until you take yourself in hand.
You can see the deceased in the crowd, hear his voice in the next room. Advertising on radio and television can cause painful memories, like a song, and the conversation of neighbors. You may cry at the same time, but those who work with you should take it as a sign of your recovery process.
Awful to return to an empty house; as well as waiting for his (her) car arriving at the house at the usual hour, and suddenly remember that he (she) will never come home.
Mothers who have lost their children hardly endure the time when they need to put the child to bed or when other children return from school.
You will be difficult to leave the house. A strange feeling – to look at the world through the eyes of the widow (widower) or divorced spouse.
I know a woman who did not drive a car 10 years before her husband died. When – he died, she had to learn again. She was not only afraid to go on the road – every time she got behind the wheel, she remembered that she was doing this because her husband died, and every time her grief intensified. This went on for several months.
Listen to me: you are normal! That was to be expected. This is a necessary step in overcoming grief. It will pass. You can handle it. You will win.