Halloween can conjure up ghosts, skeletons, and scary stuff. But you know what’s really scary? Losing someone you care about. I recently lost two friends and watched how they and their families navigated this journey. Whether it’s unexpected or a slow descent, the death of a loved one is disorienting and causes so much shock and sadness that we feel unable to move forward.
How do you get through the first 24 hours after a loved one dies?
Whether you are good in a crisis or need time to process such an event, take time for some self-care. Not everything has to be done at once and some things can be done with the assistance of a friend. Next week I will outline a task list to help you. In the meantime here are three points to keep in mind the first 24 hours after a loved one dies.
Balance is key. Easier said than done, right? Try to balance the plethora of tasks with some healthy down time. Accomplish one task – say the cremation or burial arrangements and then perhaps call a family member you are close to. The next day perhaps you will call and notify family and friends and then spend the rest of the day on the sofa. That’s okay. The point is you do what needs immediate attention such as care of small children, elderly parents or pets to make sure they are taken care of and then do what you need to do to catch your breath and organize your thoughts.
Call on your support team. Even if you feel alone, know that you are not. Ask for help with family, friends, church, and neighbors. Allow them to participate in this process. Not everyone is good at everything but most of the people you know are good at something and want to help if asked. So utilize their gifts and let them support you during this time of loss. After all, you’d be there for them, right?
Make notes. During this time you may find yourself going from a brain that’s on speed to one that is slugging its way through a dense fog. This is when you need to grab a note book and take notes. Keep it with you at all times, even at bedtime, so that you can jot down thoughts and ideas as they come to you.
Balancing your days between to-do’s and time outs, reaching out for support and making notes will help you get through not just the first 24 hours but for many months to come.
Thank you for reading my post. If you have found it encouraging please consider liking, commenting or sharing it. Feel free to even re-blog – may these words take flight!
I have additional insights I’d love to share with you found in the pages of my debut book: Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When It Hurts. To order a copy or learn more go to my website at www.lorettaschoen.com
Blessings for Health & Wellness.