Original submission: Mrs. Sara Bailey | Courtesy of: The Widow.Net | Photo by: Rawpexel | Published 10.24.2021
Recently I received an inquiry from Ms. Sara Bailey. It began as follows: “I’m Sara, and I’m a widow.” Miss Sara went on to explain that she writes “about loss as a way to help me heal and to offer hope to others who’ve suffered a loss.” Miss Sara asked if I’d be willing to publish her writings.
Not only am I willing to publish the writings but I am SO HONORED that SHE REACHED OUT TO ME (!). Please welcome Miss Sara Bailey to the DyingandDeathTalk.com crew, read her entry, and check out her website, TheWidow.net.
Losing a loved one can feel like losing a part of yourself. In the wake of such a tremendous loss, it’s normal to experience a wide range of emotions. Those emotions can make it difficult to even breathe, let alone take care of daily tasks and responsibilities. Still, when a family member passes away, there will inevitably be a few things you need to take care of before you can begin focusing on moving forward in the healing process, and these compassionate tips from Dr. Lisa Oliver can help.
Focus on Your Own Self-Care and Healing First
After the death of a loved one, you may find yourself having to take care of unpleasant tasks, such as cleaning out belongings. As you work through these essential end of life tasks, however, you should also try to leave some time in your schedule for some intense self-care. Although you may not feel like practicing self-care when you are overwhelmed by grief, doing so can be a healthy way to keep yourself focused enough to handle difficult tasks and responsibilities, and continuing those self-care habits can also help you process your grief in a healthy way.
If you can find the energy to exercise, even if it’s just taking a walk, getting exercise can help, but it’s also okay if the only self-care you can manage right now is sleep. Sleep deprivation and grief are commonly connected; if you are having trouble getting to sleep, know that finding meaningful ways to relax can help you get the rest needed to heal. A good first step is to ensure your living space is cleared of negative energy, actions that don’t have to be complicated or time consuming. Decluttering is just one way to reduce stress and promote a positive environment.
As part of the healing process, consider setting up a nonprofit in your loved one’s honor. Not only will you keep their memory alive, you’ll be able to match a special passion with the nonprofit’s purpose. For example, if you both shared a love for your community’s homeless population, the nonprofit could exist to coordinate fundraising or volunteering. ZenBusiness can help you get schooled up on everything you need to know about nonprofits.
Look for Professionals to Alleviate Your Stress
Working with a compassionate funeral home is a good first step toward reducing some of the stress you feel around the loss of a loved one. You can ask for recommendations from other family members or friends, but looking for a funeral home that is active in the local community and also provides grief support services can help you choose the right professionals for your needs.
BetterHelp notes that tapping into grief services can also be a good way to start the healing process and may even provide some much-needed insight into some of the tasks on your list. For example, if you are thinking about relocating, a grief counselor may be able to talk you through this process and decide whether it may be too early in the bereavement process to make big decisions.
If you are having a difficult time sorting through your late loved one’s finances, you may also find it helpful to work with a financial advisor. This professional can be a central contact when it comes to organizing estate plans and locating financial account information. Utilizing these services can help prevent you from making poor financial choices when your mind is clouded by grief.
Consider Planning a Good Death for Yourself
The death of a loved one can be stressful and much of that stress can come from planning and paying for funeral arrangements. As you begin the process of healing, CNET suggests reflecting on this difficult time and consider pre-planning your funeral. For example, you could take out burial insurance, which will offer your loved ones additional financial support after your death.
Burial insurance for seniors can be a more economical choice than many other life insurance options. This sort of final expense insurance will pay for funeral costs and any leftover benefits can also be used to pay off leftover debts, like medical bills. In addition to financial considerations, taking other steps to plan for your passing can be a positive way to face any fears about death and provide an enhanced quality of life.
Dealing with the death of someone you love is never easy, which is why you should look for ways to make dealing with any associated tasks or responsibilities less stressful. Ask for help from professionals, give yourself more time for self-care, and last but not least, look to your circle of family and friends for the extra support you need.