5 Coping Strategies to Move on After a Family Member’s Death
Moving on after the death of a loved one can be a hard and complicated matter. Not only does one have to worry about the interpersonal relationships effected by the death of a friend or loved one, but one also has to deal with the financial aspects. For a lung cancer patient, this reality is all the more likely. If you are a patient or simply dealing with a family member who is struggling through a diagnosis, keep reading as we discuss 5 ways to live beyond loss and move on.
How do you Move on After Losing a Family Member
Living beyond the loss of a family member is an individual experience for everyone. Commonly, those going through the death of a loved one move through the five stages of grief and eventually come to reach acceptance. Truly moving on after losing a family member or friend only comes from accepting your feelings, talking to those who love you, and reaching out to people who are willing to help. The following list will go into further detail into coping strategies.
1. Feel Your Emotions
You may know that the first stage of grief is denial or isolation from reality. Let yourself feel the pain of loss. Avoiding emotions won’t allow you to skip the process of healing–it only extends it.
Many people also experience feelings of guilt and other emotions that cause them to judge themselves. Know that there is no “normal” reaction to the death of a loved one and allow yourself to process emotions as they come. There are also many resources available to those suffering from grief and depression including national helplines. The sooner you face your feelings, the sooner you can come to accept them.
2. Take Care of Your Health
Your physical and mental health play important roles in each other’s operation. Good mental and physical health help you move on in life in a healthy way.
Physical exercise is a great way to cope, express negative emotions, and connect with others. Cardio and other high paced exercises can help you take your mind off of your feelings and focus it on your body. Being active can do wonders for the mind and body.
3. Accept Assistance (or look for it) When you Need it
Your family, friends, and neighbors who know about your loss may try to help. Don’t reject offers of assistance because of feelings of shame or guilt. If you need help with household tasks, allow those around you to lend a hand or outsource household duties to a maid or extended caregiver.
You should also seek legal or financial help when necessary. Trying to move on after a family member’s death is a difficult time. Avoid making mistakes on important documents or mishandling forms by consulting with a professional.
4. Find a way to remember your loved one
As time passes, people sometimes start to worry they’ll forget a loved one who has passed. The holidays are a time to remember lost loved ones through customs and traditions.
You can remember a loved one by:
- Gathering mementos into a display frame
- Making a scrapbook
- Watch their favorite movie or tv show
- Writing a story or poem about them
5. Discuss Your Grief with Others or a Professional
Talking about your grief with others is a great way to process your emotions and connect with others with similar experiences. Speak with members of your family as well as counselors (alone or in a support group).
Sharing experiences with those outside your family allows you to hear a range of perspectives. As such, a support group can often offer support through difficult times.
Should I Join a Lung Cancer Support Group?
Asbestos-caused diseases (like lung cancer and mesothelioma) may take a long time to express symptoms. However, once tumors start to spread, cancers can be aggressive. And, as a result, patients may experience severe side effects of cancer. Regardless, advancements in cancer treatments continue to create hope for mesothelioma and lung cancer patients.
Additionally, living with a loved one with mesothelioma symptoms near death can be intensely emotional. Attending a support group and talking through one’s experiences in a group setting have proven benefits.
After the death of a loved one, the following resources may help you move on:
- American Cancer Society 24/7 Cancer Helpline: 1-800-227-2345
- AARP Grief, Loss and End of Life Resources
- Cancer-Specific Support Groups Through Cancer.net/ASCO