There is no easy way to lose a person you love. No matter what the label on your relationship might have been, losing a person who was part of your life is often like losing part of yourself. There is no easy way to move on, but there are steps you can take to make saying goodbye less hard on yourself. Below are three things you can do to cope with loss as you say goodbye to your loved one.
Allow Yourself to Grieve
Perhaps the most important step in saying goodbye to a loved one is admitting to yourself that you miss him or her. There is a great deal of pressure on those who were close to the deceased to move on, but you cannot deny your feelings. As you are saying goodbye, embrace your feelings. It is normal to feel sad, lonely, or even angry. Whatever you feel will be authentic to you and it will be informed by the relationship with the person who has passed away.
Be Involved with the Process
Funerals differ by culture, but they are always more for the living than for those who have passed. If you are involved with the funeral planning process, you'll have a better chance to process as you go. While working with a good funeral planner is helpful, you can make decisions that can help you honor the person who has passed. Work with a funeral home to find a casket that would fit the deceased's style, for example, or talk to the officiant so that any readings or music will be appropriately respectful of your loved one's life. While you make decisions, you will be thinking about the person who has gone and the legacy that will be left behind.
After the funeral, you'll be faced with the difficult process of moving forward with your life. You won't move on, really – there are some things that won't heal. You will, however, move forward at your own pace. You may feel sad, but it is important that you put one foot in front of the other and allow yourself to make progress at your own pace. There is no specific time frame for grief, so don't push yourself to move too quickly.
Don't expect to cope with loss easily or quickly. You have a right to feel as you feel. Instead, embrace the chance to be emotionally connected to the person you loved. The wounds will heal in time, but there will always be a place for that person in your heart.