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How Do You Grieve the Loss of a Loved One (Dealing with Grief)?

Updated: Sep 18, 2023




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Dealing with grief, loss or bereavement of a family member, a friend or a beloved pet is never an easy process to go through but is unfortunately unavoidable at some point in life. The loss of a loved one is definitely one of life’s most stressful events and can often cause you a major emotional crisis, although people may have different ways to cope with the grief. Mourning is however the natural grieving process we all go through to accept and deal with a loss.


The Stages of Grief: Also Called the 7 Stages of Grief


Grief is the normal response to the loss of a loved one. Grief presents itself in different forms such as; emotional response to loss, physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, cultural, spiritual and philosophical dimensions. The 7 stages of grief in UK, USA and Australia include:


  1. Shock and Denial - 1st stage of grief Hearing about the death of a loved one can be difficult; most people usually react by denying the reality of the loss, so as to avoid the pain. Shock and denial are natural in the grieving process especially if the death was sudden or unexpected. However, the most important thing to remember about the grieving process is that it takes time.

  2. Pain and Guilt - 2nd stage of grief Feeling responsible or regretful for a perceived offence whether real or imaginary is part of the grieving process. You may start to feel guilty about something you said or something you should have done for the deceased that you may even desire to go back in time and do some things over again.

  3. Anger and bargaining - 3rd stage of grief Anger is another stage in the grieving process where the bereaved usually question why is this happening to them. Some resent themselves for the inability to change the situation and others even attempt to ask God to return their departed loved ones in exchange for a good deed.

  4. Depression, reflection and loneliness - 4th stage of grief At this stage in the grieving process, one may withdraw or isolate themselves from people. As the pain of losing a loved one begins to fade, you may be filled emptiness or loneliness and the need to isolate yourself on purpose because it feels like no one understands. Grief makes you reflect on all the things you did with your loved one and brings back all past memories.

  5. The upward turn - 5th stage of grief Although it’s hard to imagine life without your dear one, it gets better with time and the grief is not permanent. Slowly by slowly, it becomes easier to deal with the loss and you start to feel better without even realizing it.

  6. Reconstruction and working through grief - 6th stage of grief This is the stage in the grieving process where you'll start to work your way through the aftermath of losing a loved one. You might find yourself reorganizing your life to adjust to the loss or even dealing with financial costs from the funeral arrangements among other things.

  7. Acceptance and hope - 7th stage of grief Acceptance doesn’t mean pretending that the loss ever happened; it means that you start to talk about it freely, and you're able to think about your loved one without being overcome by pain and grief. Life will obviously not be the same, but you will have the precious memories of your loved one to help you through it all. Keep in mind that the time spent in each stage of grief is different for everyone, so don’t feel pressured to feel better soon because someone else said so. Instead, surround yourself with people that love and support you.


How to Deal with Depression after the Loss of a Loved One


The Power of the Memories of a Deceased Loved One
The Power of the Memories of a Deceased Loved One

After facing a loss and during the grief process, it is important for the grieving person to have a solid emotional support system to help with the recovery. Family members and close friends can greatly help but there are also support groups, community organizations, and mental health professionals that exist around.


Some of the existing solutions that help people in UK, USA or Australia deal with the grief of losing a loved one include:


  1. Joining a support group where members share personal experiences and give each other emotional support and relevant tips on how to cope with the grieving process.

  2. Adopting a routine that includes more of the things you love such as sports, healthy eating and travel. This helps to keep your mind off a departed loved one.

  3. Challenging negative thinking by keeping a list of the things/memories that you are thankful. This encourages a positive attitude and numbs the pain caused by grief.


What is Death Consulting after a Person Passes Away and Why it is Important?


When a person passes away, there are various matters that should be considered and addressed in conjunction with an attorney; it will also require the involvement of the surviving family members. Some of these processes include:


  • Addressing funeral arrangements and related costs Funeral arrangements start with registering a death and acquiring the Death Certificate. You can then decide on whether to use a funeral director or not and whether to bury or cremate the deceased. It is important to crosscheck for if the deceased had a prepaid funeral plan or any other benefits that cover expenses of the funeral arrangements.

  • The review and understanding of previously signed estate planning documents This applies in case the deceased had a business and there is need to discuss transition. It requires a durable power of attorney, a Will or trust with beneficiaries and a letter of intent that defines what should be done with a specific asset after. Such letters usually detail the deceased’s preferred funeral arrangement process.

  • Addressing the division and securing of the personal belongings These include photos, furniture, jewelry and clothes among other things that are usually not accounted for in a Will. The Executor of the Will is responsible for deciding who gets what.

  • Complying with tax requirements Final individual income tax returns of a deceased are prepared in the same way as in when they were alive. All income up to the date of death must be reported and all credits and deductions to which the deceased is entitled may be claimed.

Existing Ways and Products for Memorial after a Cremation or a Cemetery Burial


Cemetery Burial
Cemetery Burial

Modern families today are embracing cremation funeral arrangements as opposed to traditional burial. A case in point, 77% of all funerals in the UK are cremations rather than burials, in Canada and Australia this takes up about 68.4% whereas some states in the USA such as Nevada and Washington have a rate as high as 76%.

Cemetery burial is a method of final disposition where a deceased is placed into the ground. It can be held at home, in a churchyard, cemetery, and woodland burial sites or at sea. Burial funeral arrangements include short readings, prayers and scattering of soil or flowers onto the coffin. Cemetery burial requires both a burial certificate/green form and a burial plot application form.


The cost of cemetery burial in Canada is approximately $9000; the average cost in the UK is £4,271. In Australia, the fee rises to $15,000 for a burial complete with casket and flowers whereas in the USA, cemeteries charge roughly $7000 to $9000.


Memorials after Burial Include:


  1. Memorial bench: This is a piece of furniture that commemorates a deceased. They can be placed in a public place or in a private garden at home.

  2. Memorial garden: These are areas planted as a tribute to the life of a deceased. Cremation is the process through which the body is converted to basic elements via heat.

On average, cremation takes about 1 to 3 hours for a human body.


Since cremation is irreversible, the state requires a next of kin to authorize cremation in writing; in UK and USA a medical examiner has to also identify the body first before it is placed in a large special purpose kiln for several hours and the temperature raised to approximately 2,000 degrees.


The impurities such as gold and other medical metals are then separated using a magnet before processing and placing the remaining fragments and ashes into an urn selected by the family during the funeral arrangements. Then, the ashes are tagged individually and accompanied by an affidavit of cremation.


Cremation funeral arrangements can include any or all of the elements of a traditional burial including visitation, a wake, and church service either before or after the cremation.

Besides being environmentally friendlier, cremation funeral arrangements are also very cost friendly compared to cemetery burial funeral arrangements.


The average cost of cremation in the UK is £3,744 and varies in the USA between varies between $495 and $1,500. Canada charges between $600 and $4,500 whereas Australia charges $2,000 to $6,000.


When making cremation funeral arrangements, the bereaved have to plan for a final resting place for their loved one. Whereas some people choose to simply store the ashes in an urn at home, modern families are more interested in exploring other unique memorial options such as:


  • Ashes into a Tree: After choosing a preferred tree, the ashes of a deceased are put in a biodegradable urn which is used to nourish the tree. You can fix this in your cremation funeral process if your deceased loved one has a special love for nature.

  • Cremation diamonds: These are diamonds made out of the carbon content of a deceased’s ashes. Cremation diamonds are a special tribute to the life of your departed loved one since they are practically diamonds that symbolize love and eternity.


Cremation Diamond Ring
Cremation Diamond Ring

To create cremation diamonds, the hair/cremated ashes of a deceased are analyzed to determine whether they contain enough carbon to be turned into a cremation diamond, about 200g of ashes or 10g of hair are required. The ashes are then placed in a specialized crucible which is heated to over 5000F to make sure every element except carbon oxidizes. Temperature is raised further so that carbon can become graphite. The graphite with a metal catalyst and a diamond seed crystal are placed into the core. The core goes into a specialized diamond press capable of creating extreme tension which then starts working thus bringing the pressure to about 800,000 pounds/square inches. During the last stretch when the press is working, the temperature in the room stays about 2500F so that the ashes turned cremation diamonds become solid. This process takes 6 to 9 months(1 ct) and results in rough crystals that are cut and polished into cremation diamonds. Cremation Diamonds cost approximately $ 1,250 to $21,500


Ashes into a reef: Here, an eternal Reef is designed with environmentally-safe cast concrete mixed with your loved one’s ashes to help rebuild the aquatic eco system. This option is well embraced by people with a connection to the sea such as marines and fishermen.


Disposal of the ashes into the sea or lake: The ashes are carried in a waterproof urn before scattering them in the sea as opposed to simply placing the urn in water. The ashes must not be scattered on a privately-owned stretch of river without permission.


Ashes into space: After the cremation funeral arrangement, ashes are sealed in small capsules and launched into space. These missions may go into orbit around the Earth, the Moon or further into space.



Leading Death Causes among Young People Aged Between 15 and 25 around the World



Accidents and Unintentional Injuries

This is the main cause of death for young people aged between 15 and 25 years; it accounts for about 41% of the deaths in USA. Accidents can result from drunk driving, ignoring speed limits, not wearing a seat belt for road users, or they can come from medical negligence among other causes.


Suicides

Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death. These are the second most common cause; accounting for 18% of deaths for young people. Suicide is impulsive and can be triggered by stress, bullying and financial trouble among other things.


Homicide

This refers to the act of one human killing another and they account for 16 % of the deaths in this age group. Most of these are as a result of gun violence, illegal possession of firearms or other weapons such as knives.


Drugs and Alcohol Abuse

This refers to a pattern of repeated drug or alcohol use that often interferes with health, work or social life. Drug and alcohol abuse accounts for up to 15% of the youths' deaths, usually resulting from an over doze.


Cancer

This is a disease in which abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and destroy the body tissue; it accounts for up to 5% of the total deaths in young people. The earlier cancer is diagnosed and treated, the higher the chance of it being cured, it is therefore in your best interest to do regular medical check-ups.


Flu and Pneumonia

0.6% of this age gap experiences this in their young adult life. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs, sometimes resulting from the severe and deadly causes of flu. In 2016, flu and pneumonia were in fact the 8th leading cause of death in the USA.


Infant Mortality

The leading causes of infant mortality in USA, UK and Australia include congenital disabilities, disorders related to short gestation and low birth weight and infant death.


Congenital Conditions

This is an often-inherited medical condition that occurs at or before birth. The most common types include; congenital heart disease and Down syndrome and may be as a result of genetic, infectious, nutritional or environmental factors.


Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases

This is the 3rd leading cause of deaths among young people in USA and UK and these diseases affect the lungs. These include; chronic obstructed pulmonary disease, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and they are mostly common in cigarette smokers.


Stroke

Although many tend to think that this is a disease for the aged, research has shown that 0.6% of the youths are dying from it. Stroke requires a medical diagnosis but symptoms may include; trouble walking, speaking and understanding things as well as paralysis.


Child Mortality Number Decreased around the World


There has been a notable decrease in child mortality since the 1990s. A case in point, 1 in 11 children died before reaching age 5 in 1990 compared to 1 in 26 who died in 2017 – this figure amounts to 5.4 million deaths. Although the margin has significantly reduced, there is still need to reduce this number to an even smaller fraction.


The leading causes of child mortality under age 5 in 2017 included; preterm birth complications, acute respiratory infections, congenital anomalies and diarrhea. 47% of under-five deaths in 2017 were neonatal.


How to Cope with the Pain of Losing a Child


It is hard to come to terms with the death of a child especially at a tender age. The feeling is even worse for parents that have to endure the grief of their child’s sudden death, not to mention the weariness that comes with making funeral arrangements that depict how much the deceased meant to you.


The following are some useful tips that can help a parent overcome the grief of losing a child:


Talk to a Therapist or Grief Counselor

If grief is taking a toll on you, talk to a professional therapist to guide you in meaningful ways to overcome your pain and adjust to life after the loss of a loved one.


Turn to Friends and Family

No matter how much you pride in being self-sufficient, seek the comfort of friends and family. Spend time together physically and accept help from those who understand your grief.


Draw Comfort from Your Faith

Embrace spiritual activities that are meaningful to you such as going to church, praying, and meditating. For those whose religions preach about the afterlife, you can rest assured that you will be united with your loved one again.



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