Simple Direct Funerals

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A short SDF series on

What do you do when….

1.  What do you do when 
you feel you just can’t cope.


Understanding the emotions surrounding death and dying.

So it feels like you can’t cope dealing with the death of someone.  Your life feels like it is spinning out of control.  That’s OK and that’s normal.  First take a breath or two or three.

The emotions that come with death and dying can be incredibly intense.  They are often extreme, raw and heart breaking as you face the reality that you won’t be seeing this person again.  There are so many thoughts going through your mind at this time.

Grief often comes with death. Grief will vary from person to person, and how each person deals with their grief is different. Studies show that there are five stages that people go through: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Although this is more a guide than a rule, these stages aren’t uniform in that they all take the same amount of time to process; sometimes people can go back and forth between different stages, and sometimes, people never get past a certain stage

It is important to realise that grief is incredibly important to our well-being.  Good grief is the process of dealing with loss and it enables us to not live in the past with that pain, but to continue living.  Moving on is not forgetting the person who died.  It is not undermining their worth and value in your life.

In some ways grief is like a plaster cast for a broken arm – giving the person time to heal – as long as they understand the reason for the cast.  The cast isn’t meant to be permanent.

Therefore, it’s possible that some people may remain in the anger, depression, or denial stage without ever being able to move on. This isn’t how life is meant to be. Through these stages, you must deal with the pain and reality of loss. This isn’t just for death, but any loss – like ending a relationship, losing a career, or even when your favourite sports team loses

The natural progression of these emotions and feelings helps your body, mind, and spirit to heal. Grief plays a huge part in life because the people we love are a significant part of our lives, and when they’re gone, it is life-changing. Dealing with and facing your grief properly will help you far more than ignoring or fighting it.

There is a lot of information on the internet about grief, its stages, understanding it and how to cope.  There are community organisations ready to help.  The most important point I would make is to accept that grief is good.  However grief is not meant to stay longer than it needs.

People are emotional beings and death is a very emotional time.  So the feelings you have are not uncommon.  I know they are not nice and that is why we need to look beyond them to see how they are helping us.

Be kind to yourself and others.  Reach out for help if you need to.  Often just talking about things with a friend can make all the difference.

It is also helpful to know that there will be times in the future when something may happen that will remind you of the person.  It may even cause tears.  This is totally natural.  Allow these feelings to run their course.

Tell yourself that you can cope, even if at that moment you feel you can’t.

When you feel you can’t cope, pause, take a breath and relax (drop your shoulders).  Writing about your feelings can help – even if no one reads it.  Walking helps.  Talking helps.  Doing positive steps means you will be able to cope more and more.

People at beach
Sumner Beach, Christchurch by Owen Haring