Dealing with a death in the family is no doubt a difficult time for anyone. People have many different ways in coping with great losses, but how we deal with loss can change drastically from person to person. With everyone dealing with their stressors in their own way, this can become a very tense time throughout the rest of the family. It becomes increasingly difficult as the family realizes that they not only have to deal with the loss, but they may also have to begin handling other duties such as, cleaning/selling a house, which can quickly become more of an emotional drainer than the death itself. Here are a few things to keep in mind when dealing with a loss that will help keep your family from tearing itself apart from the inside out.
If you or someone you know is dealing with the loss of a loved one, please share this information with the remainder of the families loved ones as it may help ease a lot of forthcoming family tension.
If this was sent to you by a family member or a third party, please don’t take anything personally as an attack in your direction. These are simply common occurrences surrounding the passing of family or friends. No one is pointing any fingers, instead they are just attempting to spread awareness for the cause of strengthening a family’s future.
#1 – Everyone needs to step up and do their part
No matter how large or small the family is, it is essential that everyone helps out an equal amount. Just because one family member may live closer than another does not mean that they hold responsibility for spearheading the operations at hand.
#2 – Sort through the memories together
Especially if you are preparing a house for resale or simply clearing out some things out of the attic, make sure you support one another through these times. Digging through boxes of old photographs, letters, and other assorted memories can be an uncontrollable emotional roller coaster with unforeseen and unexpected ups and downs. It is important that a family is there for each other in order to help cope with these overwhelming feelings.
#3 – DO NOT GIFT SHOP!
Whatever the reason may be, this seems to happen more often than you might think. There always seems to be a member of the family that shows their face around the house only upon the mention of something valuable. Do not be that person. Do not show up at the location only to potentially sort through items that you may find of financial value only to leave the rest of the hard work to other members of the family. This is the quickest way to tear your family apart.
#4 – Do not Impulse Buy
Sure, a death in the immediate family may mean that you have a bit more financial security coming your way. This may help you out in more reasons that one can possibly mention. With your new money however, it is important that you at least wait a little bit before you start flaunting objects of value. In other words, just because you know you are going to be receiving a little bit of extra money does not mean that you should show up to the funeral driving a new Lexus. This may kindle bitterness among the already mourning friends and family members surrounding you.
#5 - Take some time for mourning
With the crazy amount of overwhelming tasks that are about to be careening your way, it is easy to let your mind stray. Make sure you take some time solely for proper grievances. Take some time to forget about the upcoming responsibilities that relate with a death in the family and use it to reminisce. Worrying about financials and legal issues during times of sorrow can prevent proper closure and can potentially lead to other, far greater problems down the road.
#6 -Do NOT triangulate
This seems to be one of the greatest problems, especially when dealing with siblings. Everyone seems to feel like they are taking on the brunt of the work or at least feeling like they have the best excuse not to be taking on the brunt of the work. This tends to cause a lot of problems among families. While this usually begins to happen a few weeks after the occurrence of the death, it can play a huge toll on the post death relationship of the family.
In order to keep things running smoothly in the family and keep forward progress when dealing with the responsibilities know that it is important to speak keep close contact and to speak with your family. There will be a time that we all need to vent about our frustrations and it seems easy to vent about a sibling or relative to those in your immediate surroundings. This is often the root of big problems.
If you have a concern or are having a problem with one or several members of the family, sit down and speak with them about what is going through your mind instead of venting it to third parties. You will be surprised at how fast this solve the problem with little to no future conflict.
#7 – Avoid the social media
While using social tools is convenient and may pose as aneasy way to bring awareness the death of a family member and the reality of the current situation, social media should not be used to vent your emotion and aggression.
I have seen this happen in the past. A family member becomes frustrated or upset with another member of the family and makes an ambiguous status post online. This behavior is completely unnecessary, immature, and will lead to no future benefit whatsoever. Venting about a family member via social media will only cause disdain and conflict between the ones who are supposed to be helping each other out in a time like this. If you are tempted in doing this, read #6 over again.
#8 – Don’t get angry if you’re not around
If for some reason you are absolutely unable to be there in order to help with the physical responsibilities that need to be taken care of, there is no reason to get mad at other members of the family in the event of a mistake. Keep in mind that different tangible objects will have different memories and sentimental value to different people. If you are unable to attend the separation of belongings after a death, you have no right to be mad at a family member for getting rid of something that may have been of importance to you. While an item may have meant the world to you, it may look like trash to another.
#9 - Stop Keeping Tallies
Helping out should be carried out evenly by all members of the family. You should be helping out the rest of your family as much as possible especially in the beginning in order to help things move along smoothly. Too many people have the mentality “If I just do as much work as the next person, I’m entitled to just as much of the will as they are.” This is a horrible mentality to carry with you. Start helping out because your family needs you, not because your sibling has a one up on you. There is more stuff to be taken care of than you know.
#10 – Show appreciation
If one member of the family has really stepped up and spearheaded the responsibilities of the operation, make sure that you let them know how grateful you are that they have done so. Let them know how much you appreciate them stepping up, and let them know that you are grateful that they have done far more work than you have. You will be surprised how far even just those words written in a card will go.
Remember that dealing with the death of anyone is more difficult than one can even put into words. While you may have unexplainable feelings and emotions brewing inside, just know that the other members of you family are feeling the same way whether they choose to outwardly express it or not. Keep in mind that whatever relationships you have had in the past with you family, that right now your family needs each other and should help each other more than ever in a time like this.
Oh yeah. One more thing. If things have fallen into accordance and order, than the loved one lost may be an elderly. This is supposed to be how things go anyway. The elderly are often the ones that seemingly tie a family together especially during holiday and other gathering times. If this person has just passed, make sure that you still make the time and effort to see those members of your family that were once held together by the ones you love. Even if gatherings don’t come as often as they once did.
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