4th October 2021
When a loved one passes away, the dynamic between yourself and others who were close to that person is likely to change in some way. For example, a brother and sister who lost their mother may experience communication issues in the aftermath, or lose touch entirely. It is an extremely challenging time, and difficulties can often occur. This blog post walks you through a few important things that are helpful to remember when dealing with friends or relatives in the wake of losing someone you both love.
Some Space is Important
In the immediate aftermath of a loved one passing away, you may feel like this is the most important time to reach out to friends/family and be close to them. Bereavements can leave people in a state of shock, and it is natural to want to do something in response. However, in these instances, it is crucial that each affected individual is given the time and space they need to grieve and process the loss in their own way.
Some people may not be ready to talk things through and let others in for some time, and we have to be aware of this. Grief, as bereavement counsellors often say, is like a group of people being stranded atop a mountain with broken legs: everyone has to make their own way down, in their own time.
Establish a Routine
A good way of staying in touch with loved ones following a bereavement is to make sure you establish some kind of routine. If you don’t maintain a cycle of contact, it is possible that you will drift apart and create space between yourself and the loved one. This routine could be something as simple as a text message once a month, or maybe visiting a favourite restaurant every now and again. Having something like this in place creates a useful psychological anchor that ensures you stay in touch and keep communicating.
Do Something New
Many friends and relatives drift apart following a bereavement because they struggle to detach themselves from the past event. Seeing and speaking with each other can trigger memories of the loved one who has passed away, ultimately leading to both members avoiding each other, losing touch, or falling out.
As a result, it is important to move the relationship forward by doing something different. Bringing something new to the table means your dynamic becomes less centered around a painful memory and directed instead to new activities in the present moment - like hiking or going to a new restaurant. Put simply, if you want to keep close to loved ones following a bereavement, both parties must continue moving forward - rather than dwell on what has happened.
If you are struggling to maintain relationships with friends or family following a bereavement and want to talk things through with a bereavement counsellor in Harrogate or online, feel free to get in touch for a no-obligation, 30-minute chat over the phone ahead of booking your first session.