Why we should never ignore grief

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Being mature and looking to the future is important at all stages of life. The death of a close family member, friend, or other loved one, however, can be a really hard event to experience and process. It’s no surprise that when the worst strikes, sometimes all we want to do is bury our heads in the sand and pretend that nothing’s happening. It’s a classic coping mechanism, and it’s common across the world.

However, even though it’s sometimes hard to be brave, it’s vital that we face up to reality and accept what has happened. Not only does accepting grief help us heal more quickly, but it also means that we can take a more positive attitude to life changes such as death and focus on the happy thoughts, not the bad ones – a move that not only improves our mental health but also changes the perception that death inevitably has to be a source of trauma. Here are some top tips on how to face up to grief rather than sweep it under the carpet.


Focus on the happy memories

At first, memories – no matter how happy they may be – can be extremely painful to even think about. Whether it’s that trip to the beach with the kids or simply just going back through your nightly routine at home, anything that reminds you of the person you’ve lost and the memories that now won’t be made is difficult in those first few days.

However, over time, it gets easier and easier to think about memories of your deceased loved one. In fact, they can even become cathartic and a source of positivity as we work to process what’s happened and move on. Think of your memories as like a treasure trove: you can’t open it for a while, but once you do, it will be worth the wait.


Celebrate their life at a funeral service

When someone we love dies, the funeral service is by far one of the most important events that we will have to experience before we can truly begin to heal. Usually held just a few days after the deceased person passed away, it can be a real jumble of emotions. We can find ourselves feeling like we need to be strong while also feeling upset, hopeless, and anxious about how we’re acting, behaving, and being perceived.

However, by choosing to develop a spiritual and reflective cremation that helps mourners process their grief, the funeral service can be very powerful. There’s no need for a reflective funeral service to be positive or jolly, though that does suit some families and groups. All that’s required is for the mourners to have a chance to remember the person and feel grateful – and if upbeat music and humorous eulogies don’t fit the bill in your church or community, then that’s fine.


Remember their legacy

Life on Earth may be short, but people’s legacies live on forever. Choosing to focus on the positive, constructive things a person did rather than the sadness associated with their death is a powerful way to move on, and it’s also a good way to encourage others to do the same. There’s nothing quite as strong as solidarity – so if you can come together as a family or friendship group to remember a legacy, it will be all the more powerful.

Perhaps your deceased loved one was a strong part of local community organizations, such as an amateur operatic organization or a book club. Why not ask your loved one’s network from these organizations to come together to create a lasting memorial, such as a memory book or a website to promote their life and everything they stood for?

Even if your loved one wasn’t as active in the community, there are loads of ways that you can honor their memory. You could create a memory board in your home, for example, which contains snapshots of you both together or photos of them doing something they loved. Everyone, no matter how high profile they were, has a legacy that’s definitely worth remembering, so don’t let it slip away.

Nobody’s denying that the death of a loved one is something that is simple or easy to process, but what is clear is that there are a lot of steps that can be taken to help friends and family face up to their grief in the aftermath of someone passing away. Whether it’s creating and designing a funeral that helps people process their emotions or simply encouraging people to focus on the memories of good times they had with the deceased person, there are a lot of options out there.

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