The news has sadly been full of tragic deaths in the last few weeks, through accidents or other events.
Coming to terms with death like this is very hard and will take a long time, especially as the victims can often be young and you cannot understand why they have been taken.
If, however, you have lost a loved one following illness, maybe over many years, it really is true to say that it comes with relief that their pain and suffering is over and that they are in a better place. As long as you have been there for them, you can look at yourself in the mirror and say you did the best you could.
For many people, the years of caring for an elderly relative can pass without you realising how long it has been. The hours spent helping them, the phone calls at all hours when they need help, the reluctance to take a holiday for fear that something might happen and you won’t be there. It’s not that the person is necessarily asking you to behave like this, but you do because you care.
Oddly though, it’s often hard to move on once they have passed away. You still, for a moment, wonder if it’s them when the phone rings, you notice things in the supermarket that you would have bought for them, you think of things you would like to tell them. You know you are ‘free’ but are you? It’s quite an adjustment to know that you are able to do what you want, when you want, without giving a thought to your responsibilities.
Whatever way someone has died, as in so many things, time is the healer. But it also helps to write down your feelings about it all, all the things you did for them, your memories. Save things that remind you of them. Use their purse, wear their watch or piece of jewellery. It can be comforting to hold things they used.
Get a nice box and put things in it rather than throw them away, silly things maybe but at times they can provide you with great comfort and put a smile on your face.
Ultimately, time is the healer in all things. But also remember that you are never alone. Talk about your feelings. It will help break down barriers and you will soon realise you are not the only one who has ever felt this way.
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