Losing a grandparent is never easy. Not only might it be a situation in which children have to deal with their first real brush with death, but a parent also has to deal with the loss of his or her parent at the same time. If you’re grappling with such an issue, it’s wise to know how to help your family heal.
Respect the Grieving Process
It’s wise to remember that everyone grieves in a different way. As such, it’s important that you don’t put any expectations on what grieving is going to look like. For some, it’s a process that is full of tears and isolation. Others might want to spend time with family and laugh about the good times. Make sure that everyone in your family has the time and space available to grieve in their own way without judgment.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
This is also a very good time to put aside the little things. It’s absolutely reasonable to understand that your children might not be quite as focused on homework or that you’re not quite ready to deal with the calls of everyday life quite yet. Though real life does have to take precedence at some point, make sure that you give your entire family a little leeway to deal with this major change to the status quo.
Keeping the lines communication open is a necessity, especially if your children are young. They’ll have questions and someone needs to be available to answer them. It’s important that you all keep talking, not just about the exact nature of what’s happened but how you all feel. The more you are able to lean on one another, the easier it will be for you to come together as a family during this trying time.
Be Ready for Relapses
Grief doesn’t necessarily come all at once. It’s important that you prepare for relapses—someone will say something or see something, and the grieving process might start all over again. Try to be there for one another so that you can provide support to those who are hit a little bit later than the rest of the family.
Get Advice From Professionals
If you find that you and your family are still having a hard time coping with the loss of the grandparent, it may be time to consult with professionals. In the beginning, you may be able to find help and comfort from the funeral home employees. They will be able to help you understand the entire burial process, which may put your mind at ease. If after some time you still need additional support, therapists will be able to help you, as well as your family, find appropriate coping mechanisms that can help you to find the closure that you need.
Dealing with the death of a grandparent is never going to be easy. If you can work together, though, you can make it through. Put aside your expectations about how grief should look and make sure to support one another in a healthy and loving way.
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