Life After Loss: Adjusting to Life Without a Loved One

by Sytsema

89324916_mAfter the death of a loved one, after the memorial service, after their affairs are in order, the hardest thing to do is learn to live a life without them. All people grieve and cope with loss in their own way and in their own time, but no matter what, everyone must navigate a year of firsts throughout the first year without their loved one. There is no formula for knowing how to handle the first birthday or holiday, but there are some things you can do that may help you learn to move forward without ever leaving your loved one behind.

 

Allow yourself to mourn

In order to move forward and learn to live without a loved one, you must give yourself time to mourn their loss. Allowing yourself this time to grieve can help ease your pain as you learn to let go and slowly adapt to life without your loved one being physically with you.

 

Lean on others

As you begin to experience all the ‘firsts’ without your loved one, try to ensure you are not doing so alone. It is important to have the support of others, be it friends, family members, or the caring staff at Sytsema. We offer a wide variety of grief support services available at any time after your loss.

 

Take care of yourself

It’s important to take care of yourself physically. It can be easy to push physical health aside when focusing on your mental wellbeing after a loss, but a healthy mind needs a healthy body and vice versa. If you don’t want to walk alone, see if others would like to join you.

 

Take your time

Making large life decisions or changes after someone passes may seem like a way to make yourself move on, but doing so before you’re ready could be painful. Take your time to make changes and really learn what you want your life to look like.

 

Keep them with you

While your loved one’s passing means they are no longer physically here, remember you will always have them with you. One way to keep memories alive is to start new traditions that honor your loved one. You can also plant a tree or create a memorial to visit and reflect on, or return to places that hold a special meaning for the two of you. All of these things are ways to keep memories with you and help you feel your loved one is still part of your life. .  


Loss is one of the most difficult and inevitable parts of living. Our caring staff understands how especially difficult the year of firsts is and how daunting the new life you face may seem, but you will get through it. And we are here for you every step of the way.


Find out about the many resources and grief support programs we offer by visiting our Sytsema Compass Grief Support Services webpage or by contacting Keri Verwolf at keriv@sytsemafh.com

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