Love and Loss: Moving Forward After the Death of a Loved One

When a loved one dies, the grieving process can be a jumble of complicated and painful emotions. After the funeral, weeks and months pass in a blur as you adjust to life without that special someone. Here at Cypress Lawn, our team understands that certain times of the year – including holidays like Valentine’s Day – can be challenging, particularly if you’ve lost your spouse or partner.

There are numerous questions and uncertainties that come to mind:

  • How do I step forward into the next phase of my life?”
  • “How can I develop as a complete person when I’ve been part of a couple for so many years?”
  • “Is another romantic relationship in my future?”

We have a long and rich history of walking alongside Bay Area families who have experienced loss, and we always remind them that the healing process takes time. After all, there are no parameters for grief; everyone handles loss differently. We have talked extensively on this blog and on our Facebook page about how critical those first few moments after a loss are to your grief process. If you’re still in the early months after a loss – or perhaps the grief feels fresh today – we would encourage you to download a copy of our Acute Loss brochure.

Wherever you are on your grief journey, one thing we do know is this: While it’s important to remember and honor your loved one, it’s essential that you go on living! This doesn’t mean downplaying or ignoring painful emotions, but rather, moving forward knowing you have hope and a future. Consider these ideas as you learn to embrace this new stage in your journey:

Seek support from those who care about you most. It’s healthy to spend time alone sorting through your feelings, but take care not to grow isolated. Friends and family can share your grief and help you heal. Meeting with a counselor, psychologist, or spiritual leader is another way to gain perspective and hope when you need it most.

Find joy in new places. Coming home to an empty house, taking on additional responsibilities, and adjusting to a different role in your social life can be stressful. But embracing fresh sources of fun and comfort will nudge you in a positive direction. Consider adopting a pet, traveling more, scheduling regular dinners with a friend, or joining a support group.

Memorialize them in a special way. On special days, or whenever your loved one comes to mind, do something to remember them. It might be planting a flower or a tree on their birthday. One great way to honor your loved one – and build your entire family’s legacy – is by utilizing our family websites. Available to all families we serve here at Cypress Lawn, this digital scrapbook becomes a repository of your family photos, medical history, military records, and more.

Figure out what you need to do to stay healthy – and do it. Losing a loved one is a shock in every sense of the word. That’s why it’s crucial to take care of yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually.  Self-care looks different for everyone, but learning to nurture yourself will help you begin to accept your “new normal.” For additional suggestions about moving ahead with the healing process, take a look at our Guiding Grief Interactive Support Video, and always remember you can reach out to us if you would like a helping hand or listening ear.