Coping with a bereavement can be one of the hardest things to talk about, let alone to go through. It is made even more difficult if you are also someone dealing with chronic illness. The symptoms of your condition can feel overwhelming at the best of times, and experiencing a bereavement at the same time will be one of the toughest times that you will go through. Yet there are ways to cope that can help make your path through grief a bit more bearable, allowing you to look after yourself whilst celebrating the life of your loved one. Coping after a bereavement is never easy, but here are some ways to take a little bit of the weight off your shoulders.
Don’t Be Afraid to Let Go
As someone with a chronic illness, you may be used to ‘putting on a brave face’. You are very good at soldiering on and convincing everyone around you that you are feeling fine, even if the opposite is true. When it comes to bereavement, your instincts may be to busy yourself with practical considerations and simply get on with life. However, this can only bottle feelings up inside you. Don’t be afraid to let these feelings go, allow yourself to cry as much as you need, and understand that showing these emotions is a strength, not a weakness. Letting go in this way is incredibly cathartic and it is an important part of the healing process, so do not deny yourself that need.
Find the Best Funeral Service
If you are responsible, or partly responsible, for a funeral service, it’s absolutely vital to find the right provider. A bad funeral service will increase your stress levels and make it harder to find peace, whereas a bespoke, understanding service such as Compassionate Funerals will see it as part of their job to help you make it through this difficult time. The best funerals are those that personally celebrate the individuality of a person, allowing you to remember them and lay them to rest. A compassionate service provider will also recognise your own conditions and help you through the organisation process in whatever way you need.
Remember With Joy
After a bereavement, it is easy to become swallowed by sadness as you consider what you have lost. However, it’s important that you are able to remember your loved one with joy – think not about what is lost, but about what joy they gave to the world and all the wonderful moments of the life they lived. Looking through old photographs can help rekindle amazing memories, giving you catharsis and letting you honour their memory with laughter and smiles as well as with tears.
Lean on Your Family
Now, more than ever, is a time to truly appreciate and utilise the support networks that surround you. Don’t feel like a burden; you are not. Your family will want to be there for you, and you for them, and by standing together and leaning on each other, you can find ways to cope and an inner strength that you didn’t know you had.