Dealing With the Loss of a Loved One (Focus on Family by Sara L. Latta

By Sara L. Latta

How one can take care of the behavioral, emotional, and actual adjustments that could take place after the loss of life of a friend.

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Perhaps your family would prefer eating at a Chinese restaurant on Thanksgiving. Think of ways that you can remember your loved one in holiday rituals. Ask friends and family to write something they remember about your loved one on cards and put them Adjusting to a New Life Holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays can be particularly challenging times when we are grieving. Sharing your holiday plans with friends and family is one step toward recovery. You may even be able to memorialize your loved one through holiday rituals.

If this makes you feel uncomfortable, remember that hugging or touching can convey feelings that people often cannot find the words to say. Funerals and Memorial Services A funeral or memorial service is more formal than a visitation or wake. A funeral is generally held within a few days after death, usually with the body present. A memorial service without the body present may be held later. Although the rituals can vary greatly from one religion to another, most services have these things in common: they honor the life of the person who has died, and they provide comfort to those who remain.

Fort Collins, CO: Companion Press, 2001. Books—Fiction: Blume, Judy. Tiger Eyes. Scarsdale, NY: Bradbury Press, 1987. Greene, Constance C. Beat the Turtle Drum. New York: Viking Press, 1976. Paterson, Katherine. Bridge to Terabithia. New York: Harper and Row, 1979. Web sites: A Place to Grieve. org/ Barr-Harris Children’s Grief Center. org/ Julie’s Place: A Website for Bereaved Siblings. com/ The Dougy Center for Grieving Children. org/ Rainbows. org/ National Funeral Director’s Association. org 61 Index Abandonment, 16 Accidents, and grieving, 24 Afterlife, 30 AIDS/HIV, 18, 43-45 Alcohol, 24, 43 American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 47 Anger, 16, 18, 19, 21, 36, 45 Anniversary, of death, 56 Autopsy, 28 Babies, deaths of, 10 Balloon, letters in, 33, 55-56 Beliefs/values, examination of, 58-59 Big Brothers and Sisters of America, 39 Birthdays, 53 Brain, and grieving, 21-22 Buddhism, 32 Burial service, 31-32 Cancer, deaths from, 11 Cars and deaths, 10-11, 16, 18 and joyrides, 24 Cemetery, 31-32 Chanukah, 54-55 Child, after death of loved one, 39, 41 Christmas, 54-55 Columbine High School, 48 Concentration, and grieving, 21-22 Copycat suicides, 47 Cremation, 32 Crying, 16, 54 Dating, resumption of, 57 Depression, 18-19, 45, 47 Disasters, deaths from, 9, 12, 43, 47-50 Drugs, 24, 43 Eating after burials, 32 and favorite foods of loved one, 33 and grieving, 22, 24 “Elephant in the Room, The” (Kettering), 50-51 Embalming, 28 Emotions about parents loving again, 56-57 and AIDS, 43-45 and anniversary of death, 56 bottled up, 19, 21 expression of, 21, 50-51 with grieving, 11, 16, 18-19, 21, 36 and suicide, 45-47 and violence and disasters, 43, 47-50 Family anger toward, 18 changes in routines of, 36-39, 41 and disasters, 50-51 and holidays, 54 Father family routines after death of, 37-38 replacing role of as coach, 38-39, 56 Father’s Day, 56 Forgetting, and grieving, 22 Friends after moving, 38 anger toward, 18 62 and deaths from disasters, 50-51 and holidays, 54 importance of, 16 and new friends after death of, 57 and roles of parents, 38-39, 56 support from, 41 words comforting, 9, 11 Funeral procession, 31 Funerals, 12, 30 God, anger toward, 18 Grieving, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18-19, 21-22, 24-25 Guilt, 18, 45 Hinduism, 32 Holidays, 53-56 Homicide, 10 Hurricane Floyd, 48-49 Incidence, of deaths, 10-11 Income, loss of, 37-38 Informal rituals, 33 Journal, as therapy, 11 Judaism and anniversary of death, 56 and burials, 31-32 and shiva, 32 Kwanzaa, 54-55 Laughter, 30, 32, 54 Letter and anger, 18 in balloon, 33, 55-56 Marathon, in memory of loved one, 33 Memorial services, 12, 30 Milestones, grieving on, 56 Index Mother letters to, 55-56 replacing role of as anchor, 38-39 Mother’s Day, 55-56 Mourning, 25 Moving, 37-38 New life, adjusting to, 12, 13, 53-59 Numbness, 16 Oklahoma City bombing, 48, 49 Organ donors, 28 Overweight, 18 Parents and death of child, 41 and family routines after death of, 37-38 friend or relative helping, 41 and loving again, 56-57 Pentagon, 48, 49 Physical activity and anger, 18 and deaths from disasters, 50 Physical symptoms, of grieving, 11, 19, 21 Post-traumatic stress disorder, 43, 49-50 Quilt, sewing in memory of loved one, 33 Reincarnation, 30 Relatives and roles of parents, 38-39, 56 support from, 41 Relief, 18, 45-46 Religion and burial process, 31 and cremation, 32 and deaths from disasters, 50 and funerals and memorial services, 30 and holidays, 54 Risky behaviors, 18, 24 Rituals, 12, 27-33 School and grieving, 21-22 killings in, 9-10, 48 moving changing, 38 Sexual practices, 18, 24 and AIDS, 18, 43-45 Shiva, 32 Shock, 45, 48 Sibling death of from AIDS, 45 donations to library in memory of, 56 family routines after death of, 39, 41 and parents after death of, 41 Sleeplessness, and grieving, 22 63 Smoking, 18 Stigmatic deaths, 43-47 Stress and changes in family routines, 36-37 and deaths from disasters, 49-50 and grieving, 11, 19, 21 Suicide, 10, 12, 19, 43, 45-47 Support groups, 36, 45, 47 Talking about anger, 18 about death of loved one, 50-51 about holidays, 54 about new family routines, 37 about parents loving again, 56-57 about reality of death, 11 about suicide, 47 comfort from, 9, 11 Teenagers, deaths among, 11 Terrorism, 48, 49 Thanksgiving, 54 Violent deaths, 9-11, 16, 18, 43, 47-50 Wake/visitation, 29-30, 32 World Trade Center, 48, 49 About the Author Sara L.

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