When someone close dies, you may feel that your world has come to an end. There is no right way for addressing how to deal with family death and there is no time frame for coping with death. Everyone grieves differently, depending on their relationship with the loved one, their faith, age and personal character.
According to the website Grief.com, there are five separate stages of grief that take a person through how to deal with a death in the family.
This first stage reflects the initial state of shock and numbness as you wonder how you will go on. It is nature’s way of letting you pace your feelings of grief, only allowing you to accept as much as you can handle. Once you begin to ask questions, you are already becoming stronger as you start to come to terms with how to deal with a death in the family.
Anger is part of the process of coping with death. It may be against doctors, family, friends, and the deceased person themselves, or even against God. Anger is masking deep pain and is a natural part of the grieving process.
During sickness, or before a loss, it is common to bargain with God or make a promise to become a better person if only someone’s life is spared. You may promise, “I’ll never be angry at them again if only they could live.” Bargaining is often rooted in feelings of guilt, another stage of grief.
Emptiness finally sets in and a deep feeling of depression descends, sometimes lasting weeks or even months. You withdraw from life and feel intense sadness, wondering whether it is worth going on alone. Take strength from knowing that this is a necessary stage of grieving as you come to terms with how to deal with a death in the family.
You may never feel okay about what has happened, but accepting that your loved one has died is something you eventually learn to accept. Acceptance will be marked by having more good days than bad. The support of family and friends can help bring you to this point.
If you are struggling with how to deal with family death, the book On Grief and Grieving by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler offers some words about coping with death which you may find helpful:
“You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to.”
In the meantime, take care of yourself and spend time with others as you pass through this time of grief. If you know someone who has lost a loved one, reach out to them with companionship as they learn how to deal with family death. The passing of time is the best healer of all.