How to Deal with a Death
Here's what we've learned from our professional experience: when it comes to coping with the loss of a loved one: ignorance is not necessarily a good thing. But, let's be honest; ignorance on the subject is really very common; after all, we generally have only a few opportunities to learn how to deal with the loss of a loved one. If you're currently faced with the death of a family member or friend, we hope the following guidelines, insights and suggestions will help you in dealing with the death of a loved one. Please let us know if we can be of any assistance in this difficult time. Certainly, if your need is immediate, call us at (313) 982-1000 any time of the day or night.
In the Early Moments
When you witness the death of a loved one, or otherwise hear the news; a floodtide of emotions can sweep you off your feet. For many, this is the time when the best they can do is to sit and be still with the news. They let the emotions wash over them, and take comfort in the presence of companions. They know (either intuitively or from experience), there will be a time for action, certainly; but this is not it. Poet Rainer Maria Rilke captures this time beautifully in "On Hearing of a Death":
"...as you left us, there broke upon this stage
a glimpse of reality, shown through the slight
opening through which you disappeared: green,
evergreen, bathed in sunlight, actual woods.
We keep on playing, still anxious, our difficult roles
declaiming, accompanied by matching gestures
as required. But your presence so suddenly
removed from our midst and from our play, at times
Dealing with the loss of a loved one begins as an inner journey of reflection and acknowledgement. Some have described the first feelings as numbness or confusion. And certainly there will be time spent weeping. But here's something to remember; the need to make the necessary arrangements for their end-of-life care quickly takes the newly bereaved (numb and confused as they may feel) outside of themselves, and into the wider world. And because of the immediate need to deal with practical issues we suggest you reach out to trusted friends and allies for assistance. Ask them to help you with:
The first calls you should make include immediate family members and close friends, your loved one's employer(s), your pastor or clergy person, and of course, a funeral home or cremation provider. Check out our Death Notification Checklist for additional insight into what's involved in notifying others about your loved one's death.
Making necessary funeral arrangements
We've found no one is completely comfortable coming to a funeral home or cremation provider. Not only are they emotionally devastated by their loss, the very thought of dealing with the arrangement details can be overwhelming. Ask a trusted friend or family member to go with you.
Attending to daily chores
Housework, grocery shopping and other errands, paying bills; in the best of times, these activities can be less-than-engaging. And when you're in the early days of bereavement, it can feel absolutely impossible to take care of all that needs taking care of; so ask for assistance.
When times get tough, there's nothing like a friend, is there? While there are those friends who are better suited to the practical issues surrounding the death of a loved one; there will be those you can ask to share in the ups and downs which characterize the bereavement experience.
Really, learning how to deal with the death of a loved one has much to do with gathering all the support you need, in the form of friends, family members, and trusted professionals. It's important that you have the precious gift of time in order to deal with the complexities of bereavement.
Turn to Us
Certainly, as cremation service providers, we fall under the category of trusted professionals; and as such, we can be a major asset to you and your family. Dealing with the death of a loved one isn't ever truly easy; but when you call us at (313) 982-1000, you've done a great deal to ease your way during this difficult time.