This will probably be the most personal post I will ever write. I am writing this now at the suggestion of my friend. He said it would be a good read coming from me.
So as the title states, this post is about how to get over the death of a loved one. Call it dealing with death, ways to cope with death, how to cope with grieving, or even more plain and simple: How to deal with life.
Call it whatever you want, I think it can help you all the same. I certainly hope it can help or make for some positive effect on anyone who reads this post.
Call it strange, but I have several close friends who have suffered loss of a family member, be it through death or plain abandonment. So this post goes out to you all too.
What this post is not:
This is not a practical guide where I bring you through the stages of loss or grief. I don’t know shit about that.
This is just a personal reflection and perspective of having to deal with death of a loved one. I know the headline states explicitly how to get over the death of a loved one, but read on and you’ll see it’s a reflection more than anything.
That’s my extremely handsome father up there.
My dad passed away on June 11th 2006
He suffered and died from a disease called Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. It's truly a terrible disease. Whoever gets it gets a death sentence on the spot.
I was 20 when it happened.
My biggest takeaway
How it kind of happened was that I came home from work super early in the morning and then suddenly all the lights in the house were switched on. My brother then told me that our dad has passed on. I ran to the master bedroom and saw the most insane sight I had in my life:
My own dad’s corpse on his bed.
And so it hit me like a big, motherfucking truck. When you are as unfortunately fated (juxtaposed these two words for a reason) as me to see something like that, you realize that shit in life is very real, very fucking real.
And so it’s with this “realness” that I use and always try to deal with this in my life.
How to get over the death of a loved one: The step-by-step, sort of
1) Just Let it Out
That means to say, just let all your emotions pour out.
Cry, scream, punch, kick or talk crap. I don’t care. DO NOT repress your emotions. Bottling up your feelings is one of the worst things you can do to yourself, especially when something major like that happens to you in your life.
Don’t put up a front just cause you want to appear strong to this world or something. The world is the world. They cannot and will never understand what you go through in your own special life.
But you have to realize that life still goes on and you still need to play by the world’s rules.
Cry all you like, but do it in private or with your close ones. Cry at work or in public and people are going to get sick of it.
Scream at the top of your voice, but do in your room please. Scream in public and people may think you are a terrorist.
Punch and kick the wall. Get into fights outside and your ass is going to end up in prison.
These are all common sense right? The MAIN point is, realistically speaking, despite suffering a tragic loss in the family, you shouldn’t add more shit in your life, on your own accord at that.
You may be totally depressed or angry, but… ask yourself, can you really handle the stress of say, losing a job? Losing your friends? Losing money? Getting kicked out of school? It may be easy to say, “Ah fuck all that!” at the height of all emotions, but you ought to look out for your future. Don’t go into a downward spiral you can’t get out of.
Being real is important because, even though you have a lot to deal with in your life, the world doesn’t stop just for you.
3) Realize That You Aren't Alone
As mentioned above, I have several friends who have suffered the same loss as I did.
To me, I find it comforting to know that I am not alone in this fucked up world dealing with shit like this. In fact, sometimes I seek solace in just knowing that I can talk to them anytime.
Whoever you are, you may not have closed ones who go through the same thing. But the main message here is this still: You aren’t alone.
And there’s someone else out there in this huge world who has gone through the same if not worse.
4) Make A Positive Change In Your Life And Help Others
A cliched statement would be: Always look on the bright side of life.
I say: The world wouldn’t stop throwing shit at you, but it’s always up to you to make a positive change around it. No matter what.
A few days after my dad’s cremation, I went to meet some close friends. One of them said to me immediately...
“Alden! Bro! Hey, my own dad passed away a few years ago. So if you need to talk to me about anything, and I mean ANYTHING, please do!”.
I was surprised cause I didn’t know his dad died of cancer.
Of course I was very thankful for him to open up to me.
With that, I decided that I can help others too, especially those who go through the same shit.
If you aim to help others in life; to spread some form of positivity and pick others up in time of need, things can’t go wrong.
I don’t want to be all cliched and say, “Oh yeah things happen for a reason and I found my reason”, but if you just try to help, you will definitely feel that much better about yourself and your life. I mean come on, helping others is always good and never wrong.
It may feel like the burden is yours to bear, especially since it’s such a heavy thing. But one day, you can help others on how to get over death of a loved one. Truly, they’ll appreciate it.
5) Care For Yourself More
I used to be a lot angrier in life. Ironically, my father’s death made me less angry. Makes sense? Read on.
Before my father’s death, I always did the “right thing”. When friends insulted me, I walked away and didn’t retort. I didn’t fight. But all the right things in life just guaranteed me going home pissed off with myself.
So another big takeaway for me: Sometimes in life, you just got to watch out and care for yourself more than anything in this world.
And it took a view of my own father’s corpse on his bed to realize this.
It is actually very okay for you to follow your heart, do what you love, care for yourself, not give a fuck about others and ultimately, be happy.
This can go very well with point 4 above. Use this and make a positive change in your life and those around you.
I am telling you this now, you do NOT need to go through what I did to realize this in life. You have the power to do so, today.
Note: Please read point 2 and be real about it all. Sometimes you need to take a step back and realize what you are in the world still. Don’t go all caring for yourself only and end up being a selfish dickhead.
Oh, those asshole friends of mine who put me down last time? I have fallen out with most of them. And it feels fucking great. It’s not me saying, “Don’t mess with me”. I am just saying, “I don’t deal with things in life that don’t serve me positively anymore.”
6) Take your time, but hurry
Lastly, just take your time, because of point 5. Don’t rush yourself on such delicate matters.
But hurry, because of point 2.
Found this nice picture on Facebook:
I wouldn’t say this is the best guide on helping how to get over death of a loved on or the definite ways to cope with death or grief. It’s just a personal reflection.
In fact, I'd say after reading this, and that if you're grieving, you wouldn't feel any better.
But at least, it's a small step in the direction towards a happier life.
I hope it can help others. Really.
Also yeah, cherish and love your parents. They are pretty much the only two people in the world who can offer you unconditional love.