The trauma of losing a loved one is one of the most difficult challenges anyone could ever face in life. Whether your loved one or family member knew they were dying, and you had a chance to say goodbye, or the person you loved died suddenly, it’s important to make your mental health a priority after suffering such a serious loss. While things will be different going forward in your life, you can help yourself untangle some of the trauma of losing a loved one by getting paperwork in order, finding the right therapist, surrounding yourself with supports, and being patient with your feelings. To learn more about how to make it through the trauma of losing someone you love, read on.
Paperwork and Loose Ends
It can be overwhelming to try and navigate the paperwork that comes with a life settlement, death benefit, insurance company, medical bills, death certificates, and more after suffering such a tragic loss. Whether your loved one was insured or had a fantastic viatical settlement provider who worked with them ahead of time to make things easier, you’ll want to go slow when it comes to paperwork. The best thing you can do is keep yourself organized, and keep all the paperwork for a viatical settlement transaction, beneficiary information, or that life insurance policy in one place so that you have important paperwork as needed.
If possible, consider asking a trusted family member to manage as much of the official documents as possible. Getting help with the logistics of losing someone you love could be a great way to allow yourself to face your trauma and grief head on. For others, becoming lost in official papers could be a welcome distraction. Trust yourself to do what feels best for you. There are no wrong answers when it comes to how you process loss.
Community and Family Supports
Leaning on a support team in your community and family could be instrumental in helping you get through the initial shock of your loss. If people ask to cook for you, run errands, or help take care of minor children, consider allowing that help. At the same time, set clear boundaries around the things you need to do alone and for yourself. Working with a grief therapist could help you navigate the tricky balance between well-intentioned offers for help and things that don’t feel comfortable.
After losing someone you love, or even before, you might want to consider hiring a licensed therapist. Maybe you live in New York and aren’t sure how you’ll be able to return to work, if you’re strong enough to make funeral arrangements, and more. For you, looking up therapy in NYC through a Google search could be the next best step you take as you navigate your grief.
The Grieving Process
Any licensed therapist will tell you that the stages of grief are complicated and are experienced differently by everyone. Some days, you’ll be angry. Other days, you’ll be sad or depressed. One day, you might want to be alone or feel a sense of regret. On another day, you might find yourself feeling better and even able to function normally. It’s important to tell your therapist or support system about your ups and downs as you grieve. Treat yourself like your own best friend, and give yourself permission to just ‘be’ where you’re at.
People with empathy for your loss will say things like your pain will get better with time, that they’re there to help or talk, and that things will get better in the future. It’s perfectly normal not to be ready to hear those words as you grapple with new ways to make it from one day to the next without your loved one. Do what you can to be patient with yourself and the people who care about you as you move from one day to the next. Some days, it will be difficult to get out of bed. Other days, you’ll feel guilty for having an ability to smile or laugh. All of this is a normal part of the grieving process. Allow yourself to be wherever you’re at, and do what you can to remind yourself that the person you lost would want you not to be sad, but remember and honor them instead.