This is a collaborative post.
Pxhere Image Source: Holding hands with a loved one
If you are unfortunate enough to be losing a loved one, it can be an extremely tough time. You will most likely be feeling useless and not know what to do with yourself, and that’s completely normal because really, there isn’t anything that you can do to change the outcome.
But here’s what you can do.
Don’t assume you are supposed to know what to do.
Death tends to be denied by a lot of us. It’s a thing that we don’t quite understand and refuse to speak about because, well, it’s sad and scary. Because of this, we aren’t taught how to deal with it when it happens, especially to someone close to us. What should we say? What should we do? How should we act? – It’s important to know that when someone we love is dying – it’s okay to be a mess, because it’s real, and we’re feeling it. Having said that, many people cope in many different ways, so don’t feel as though you need to act sad if you don’t feel sad. Just share the love between everyone that’s hurting.
Consider funeral preparations.
Try and bring the family members together so you can have a conversation about funeral preparations. Sometimes, the person will have already written down exactly what they want, and covered the costs, but this isn’t always the case, meaning you will have to decide amongst yourselves. Or better yet, speak to the person and ask them what their wishes are.
Funerals can at times be very expensive, so it’s a good idea to keep your eyes open for cheap funerals that are being offered at a lower price. Costs vary depending on where you go and what you want, so make sure you do the appropriate research before deciding.
Respect that they can make their own decisions.
It can be very easy to want to control your loved one’s decisions, and that’s sometimes because you worry they aren’t able to do so themselves; it’ll cause them too much stress or pressure. Or sometimes it’s because you aren’t able to control anything else. But the person that is passing away is in charge. If they are able enough to make their own decisions – let them. Their way – no matter how wrong it may feel to you – is what is right for them. For example, your loved one may want to donate their organs, while you may not agree to this because you don’t want them touched when they pass. But in this department, your thoughts and feelings are irrelevant – it’s their choice, and you shouldn’t try and change that. So as hard as it may be to accept, it’s their death, not yours.
So as you can see, while there may not be an easy way to feel useful, just your presence is enough. If they love you as much as you love them, then just having you sitting there next to them holding their hand, will be enough.