Honouring and Coping with the Loss of a Loved One

By: Ian Elliott
Friday, August 26, 2016

When you lose someone close to you, there is no doubt you are experiencing a great deal of pain and grief. Many people believe that grief is the initial pain you feel when you lose someone, although the grieving is the entire emotional process that you will go through.

Every loss is different and everyone goes through their own grieving process at their own pace. The grieving process can go on for some time and it all depends on different factors that contribute to the amount of pain you are feeling. Some take months and others may take years. However, with time you will learn to cope with your loss as you personally go through the steps of grieving.

Depending on the relationship you had with the descendant, affects the way you grieve. It may have been an intimate one, or maybe a troubled one and these factors arise different emotions and bring up different feelings. It is important you understand the stages of grieving in order to make sense of how you are feeling. 

Here are the stages:

1. Shock, disbelief or numbness

The first couple of weeks after the loss of a loved one can be busy and you may feel like you are on auto-pilot. In this stage, you are allowing yourself to let the death of your loved one sink in.

2. Confrontation with the loss

At this stage, you are experiencing intense feelings of loss and pain. These feelings vary widely from depression, lack of appetite, withdrawing socially, to anger and guilt.

3. Acceptance of loss

You will come to a point where you accept the loss of your loved one and eventually find ways to move forward with your life. At this stage, you have found ways to manage and deal with the loss in your own way.


There are also ways in which you can honour your loved one through your grieving process. This will give you time alone or with your family to sit and put together memories, reminisce on the good times and even feel the memory of your loved one around you. Here are some things you can try:

  • Scrapbook: Gather pictures and memorabilia to put together into a book that you can go back and look on or share with your family and friends.
  • Balloon Messages: Either alone or with your family, balloon messages are a feeling of sending your message to your loved one. You can say hello, tell stories, and even give a kiss, sending the balloon up and away afterward. As you watch the balloon drift away into the sky you may feel a sense of connection and letting go of your loved one.
  • Giving Back: Donate to a charity in the name of your loved one or do some volunteer work with a foundation that was close to your loved one’s heart.

If you have any questions on this topic you can contact the experts at, Arbutus Funeral Service, here.

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