My grandfather just passed away. This is a really tough moment for my family, and especially for my siblings and I. We’ve been really lucky to have all four of our grandparents around for a really long time, and this is the first time that we’re all dealing with something like this, so it’s really tough. I’m writing because I want to know what to expect now. Obviously, I’m feeling pretty low, but how long does it take to get over something like this? What are the next steps going to look like for my family?
Our condolences on your loss. It’s never easy to lose a loved one, and it can feel as if there is no way out of grief. But grief, like everything else in life, is temporary. It’s a process, and you will see the end of it.
Experts divide grief into stages. Not all systems are the same, but a useful system defines five separate stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. As we experience a loss, we may first meet it with shock and refuse to accept it. Then we may grow upset and angry with how unfair or terrible it is. We may try to make deals with ourselves, our God, our others to mitigate the loss in some way. And, very likely, we’ll experience sadness or emptiness–depression. Finally, we can hope to accept our loss and begin to feel normal again.
But it’s important to understand that this is just a framework. You may experience some, but not all, of these stages, and you may experience them in different orders. Your experience is not going to be exactly like someone else’s, and that’s okay.
You may find that it helps to speak to a professional about what you’re experiencing. Psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals can be key allies while you experience grief. And, of course, it is never a bad idea to be proactive about your mental health. Perhaps the professional you seek out now will be of help to you for many years to come.
There are, of course, some things that must be dealt with when a loved one passes away. The next steps for your family will include funeral arrangements, explain funeral home directors who offer cremation services in New York. There are many dedicated and sensitive professionals who are ready to help with these steps, and your family may find that things are made easier with the help of funeral directors and other professionals who can handle key steps on your family’s behalf and even put down money so that your family deals with only one bill.
There are legal aspects to deal with, too. Your grandfather mostly likely prepared for this moment by drawing up a will, but your family will still need the services of an attorney to get everything in order. Your family should accept legal advice only from their attorney.
These tasks can seem daunting during times of grief, but they may also sometimes provide some much-needed structure and sense of purpose or direction in a difficult time. We’re sure that things will go as smoothly as possible for you and your family, and we urge you to focus on your own mental health as you process your grief.
“Death ends a life, not a relationship.” – Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie