Leaning On Others

Jun 16th, 2015 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Finality of Death

No matter how prepared we seniors think we are for change and loss, especially the death of friends and family, we’re still shocked when it happens. We experience a lot of loss as we age. It’s the nature of life.

However, the shock of loss seems to be related to the finality of death. When a loved one dies, life as we know it on this earth is done. Finished. No more conversations. No more walks. No more holidays together. It’s all over. The loved one is gone, and you are left to figure out how to live the rest of your life.

Asking for Help

There are really good books out there to help you deal with loss. The grieving process is well-researched. We know a lot about it, and the literature can be really helpful as we walk through a loved one’s dying and ultimate death.

One of the pieces of advice that cannot be emphasized too strongly is make it a point to ask family and friends for help. Those close to us want more than anything to be helpful. They want us to know how much they care about what we are going through. They offer help of all kinds, mostly in words like, “Be sure to call me if there is anything you need,” with the emphasis on anything. We always assure them we will call. And then most of us never do.

Well, dear readers, ask for help! As you move from day to day, find things that friends and family can do that will be helpful to you. Cleaning out a clothes closet and taking the contents to a donation center. Seeking company for ordinary things like eating, taking walks, coffee on a cold morning… the things you would have been doing with your loved one had she/he not died. Social activities that you enjoy.

Ask for help as you reorient yourself to your new normal. There is very little in this life that we humans can do well by ourselves. Grieving requires taking appropriate time to seek the hands of those close to us who care about our well-being. Let them help you walk through this new territory. It’s easier to do with some companions who love us.

Dr. Sharon Shaw Elrod

 

 

 



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