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Moving Houses After The Loss Of A Loved One: What You Should Know

Losing someone you love is heart-breaking, even more so if you shared a house with them. It can be extremely difficult to relocate houses while you are grieving. You are leaving a home that is filled with so many happy memories of your loved one memories you want to cherish forever. It is completely natural to experience feelings of sadness, guilt and even anger during such times.

However, you should acknowledge that no matter how difficult it may be, it must be done, and here are a few things you should know that may make the experience easier for you.

  • Dont be too hard on yourself

Everyone grieves and gets back to the world on their own terms, at their own pace. Dont push yourself too hard even if it takes you longer than most. Nor should you feel guilty if it takes you a shorter period of time. Take your own time.

  • See the new home as a fresh start or bring in their belongings: Its up to you

If you are relocating and you wish to use this opportunity to finally move on, thats alright. Its a great idea and you should be happy with yourself for having the courage. And if you feel that you are not ready yet and you want to bring in things that remind you of your loved one, then thats okay too. Bereavement is a personal experience and you shouldnt care about what others think.

  • If you are moving to help cope with your grief, make sure its your own rational decision

If you have decided to move as a way to help you cope with your loss and grief and not because you have to, then always make sure no one friends or family is influencing your decision. It is a huge change and you should be the one to decide.

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Why Do We Bury The Dead In Caskets?

Its common practice for Christians to bury the dead in caskets, six feet under. But have you ever wondered why? How did this funeral ritual develop? How did we bury the dead before the invention of caskets? Lets take a look at a brief history of caskets and coffins.

 

Burial is among the oldest forms of funeral ritual in the world, and many cultures across the globe adopt it. In fact, it can be traced back to about 600,000 years ago, when the Neanderthals, living in Eurasia, used to bury their dead in shallow pits on the ground with a few of their personal items.

 

Fast forward to 3150 B.C, and you will find that the Egyptians were using advanced burial techniques to preserve their dead even during that time. Its no wonder archaeologists today still find Egyptian mummies dating back to thousands of years, laid in decorated wooden or stone containers. Then, it was about 700 B.C, when the Celtic people in Europe started the practice of laying their dead in burial boxes constructed from flat stones instead of burying them directly in the earth.

 

Adopting modern encasements

From this progression, it is clear that as man evolved, burial practices and methods evolved along with him too. Earlier, people did not cover the body before burying them. They believed that the body should be united with the earth once again. As time passed, boxes were made to keep the bodies in, and this evolved to be what we know today as coffins and caskets.

 

The word coffin was coined by the French, which literally translates to basket or cradle. The word casket, on the other hand, was first used by undertakers in North America. When the civil war broke out, coffins were produced in bulks since so many soldiers died every day and this greatly catapulted the casket industry to where it is today.

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Grief-Eating And How To Overcome It

Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences, and different kinds of people cope with their loss in different ways. One such coping method is known as grief-eating, which means eating lots of unhealthy food in an attempt to trick your own body. When you eat foods that are high in sugar and fats, a feel-good chemical called dopamine is released by the brain. This only wants to make you eat more.

Grief-eating is not the healthiest coping mechanism, especially because it can be so addictive. Moreover, it can have adverse long-term effects such as weight gain, health issues, low self-esteem, and even eating disorders.

Below, we outline some steps you can take to overcome grief-eating:

  • Understand that its okay to grief-eat as long as you have control

Understand that grief-eating is nothing but one of the many coping mechanisms that people adopt after the loss of a loved one. It is only natural that you want to search for momentary comfort in any way possible. So, dont be too hard on yourself. Dont talk yourself down using negative self-talk. Instead, accept that its only temporary.

  • Know what your emotional triggers are

You are most probably grief-eating because something triggers it. It could be a thought, a feeling, an event, or even an object that makes you want to eat to comfort yourself. Find out what these triggers are; it will help you in managing your stress.

  • Physical hunger vs. emotional hunger

Know the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger, so you know when to consume food or not. Physical hunger builds up gradually in your stomach, while emotional hunger comes on suddenly. You will also most likely crave a specific food that is high in sugar or fat.

Thanks for reading,

Karen

How To Cope With The Death Of A Spouse

Losing your spouse is one of the most heart-breaking experiences of life. You have lost someone who you promised to spend the rest of your life with, someone you love dearly, and it can be difficult to cope healthily with such a loss.

You may experience feelings of anger, guilt, fear, sadness and shock. These are only natural and you shouldnt stop yourself from feeling them. In fact, its actually healthy to allow yourself to feel all these completely. This is a part of grief and only then will you be able to move on to the next chapter of your life.

Now the question is, how can you move on? How do you cope with your loss and get your life back together? Here are a few ideas to help you out.

  • Accept that not everyone will understand your pain

Some people may not be comfortable with the idea of death and hence, may not understand what you are going through. They may act the wrong way or say the wrong words. Try to forgive these people.

  • Reach out to caring and understanding friends and family

Your family and friends will understand you, and its always a good idea to reach out to them and talk openly about how you feel. They themselves may be grieving too, so you could help each other out simply by understanding how the other feels. Its never a good idea to isolate yourself.

  • Take care of your health

Grief of such magnitude can be detrimental for your physical and mental health. Many people tend to lose their appetite and have trouble sleeping. Make sure you take care of your body and health during this time.

  • Dont make big decisions, if possible

You may think that moving to a new city or quitting your job may be a good idea after your loss. But, give it time. Don’t make decisions while you are grieving as you may regret it later.

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Tips On Writing A Condolence Message

A condolence message, also known as a sympathy note is a thoughtful and meaningful way to let the bereaved know that you realize what they are going through, that you are thinking of them and are there for them. They provide support to those who are grieving since even the tiniest amount of support is precious during such difficult times.

If you know anyone who has lost a loved one, make sure to send them a condolence message. If youre not sure how to go about writing it, here are some tips to help you out.

  • It doesnt have to be long

Keep in mind that a condolence does not have to be long and made up of complex words, its best when it is short and simple as it is easier to process at a time of grief. What matters most is that it is honest and comes from your heart.

  • Make sure to acknowledge their loss but dont compare

At the start, express your sadness over their loss using phrases like “I was sad to hear” or “I am thinking of you and your family at this time.” This establishes that you acknowledge their loss. However, make sure that you don’t compare their loss to yours, even if you have experienced something similar. This is about them, not you.

  • Share a heart-warming memory you have of the deceased

If you knew the deceased in person, make sure to write a few lines on a positive memory you have about them. This makes the bereaved feel better since they now know that their loved one brought happiness to other people.

  • Avoid saying things to explain the death

In your condolence message, never try to explain the death. So avoid phrases like “This is for the best” or “This is a part of God’s plan.” These are not the most pleasant things to hear when someone is grieving.

Thanks for reading,

Karen

4 Places to Scatter Ashes

One of the biggest concerns that people whose loved ones are cremated have is what to do with the ashes. Many choose to keep them in an urn and place it on the mantelpiece or shelf, while some people choose to scatter them. If the deceased had not mentioned before their death where they would like their ashes to be scattered, you can choose to scatter them in any of the following places.

  • Private property

Scattering ashes in private property such as your garden or farm is a common practice. However, in some states, you need to get a permit first before you do so. This is a meaningful practice for many since in a way, it means that your loved one is always with you, or at a place which mattered to them.

  • River or ocean

Water bodies like rivers, ocean, as well as lakes and streams, are also popular choices for scattering ashes. Especially if your loved one was a free spirit or someone who was a nature lover, scattering their ashes into such water bodies would mean that they are finally free to go where the flow takes them.

  • National park

You can even scatter ashes in national parks, but you will have to get permission from the National Parks Service. With each park, the application form will be different. Make sure that you dont scatter the ashes on mountain tops, where ecosystems are more fragile. Even though ashes are not harmful, its better to scatter them further down over a large area.

  • Overseas

If you plan to scatter ashes overseas, for example, in a country your loved one adore, make sure to find out what kind of regulations the country has on scattering ashes. Remember to get in touch with the airport and consulate first to ensure which documents are required.

Thanks for reading,

Karen

How To Talk To Someone Who Is Dying

The expectation of the death of a loved one, whatever the reason may be, is not a good feeling at all. Knowing that you will have to say goodbye to them can make your conversations with them extremely uncomfortable or heart-breaking. However, it is important to remember that what matters most is to make your last moments with them count. So, even though it may be difficult, here are a few things to keep in mind when talking to a loved one who is dying.

  • Listen closely and let them guide the conversation

When talking to a person who does not have much time left, the most important thing is to listen closely to what they have to say. From the words they use and the tone of their voice, you will be able to know how they want the conversation to be. Remember that it is about them, and be open to talk about what they want to talk about.

  • Make sure to let them know you have nothing but love for them

If there is something you need to forgive them for, make sure you let them know clearly. And if you are the one who has to ask for forgiveness, put away your ego and do so. Also, remember to thank them for all they mean to you. Hearing such things from people who matter to them help them go in peace.

  • You dont have to keep it so serious

You may think that talking about every day mundane topics such as what happened at work, or a TV show that you both like to watch, to people who are dying is insensitive. However, this is not always the case. He/she is still the same person and still likes the same things. Besides, discussing such topics will remind them that they are still alive even though they may not have much time left.

Thanks for reading,

Karen

4 Creative and Thoughtful Alternatives To Sympathy Flowers

Giving sympathy flowers to those who are mourning the loss of a loved one is a common practice all over the world. They show that you are sorry for their loss, and care about their well-being. However, flowers may not always be the best choice for a sympathy gift in certain situations. For instance, the sight and smell of flowers may only remind the bereaved of the loved one. Or in most cases, it is highly likely that they will be receiving lots of flowers from others, so it’s not a very practical gift.

Below, we provide different and thoughtful alternatives to sympathy flowers you can give to those who are grieving.

  1. Candles

Candles make great sympathy gifts for those who have lost a loved one. Not only does it help create an atmosphere of calmness and serenity, but it also instigates contemplation and reflection. Scented candles can also help them relax and soothe them physically and emotionally. You can even find candles especially made as sympathy gifts, with meaningful quotes inscribed on them.

  1. Comfort food

Bringing food for those who are mourning is a thoughtful and practical sympathy gift. In the days following the loss, they will have a lot on their plate and may not always have time to cook their food. So, whether you buy them a food hamper, or cook something on your own, it shows that you truly care for their well-being.

  1. Potted plants

The main issue with sympathy flowers is that they are not long-lasting, and hence not very practical. They eventually wilt and die. A good alternative to this is a potted plant, which is much more long-lasting. Succulents are the best choice since they dont require constant care.

  1. A donation

Today, many people make donations to a cause that was close to the deceased. For example, if the deceased actively supported a certain cause or organization, you can donate to them. Or if they died from a certain disease, you can donate to organizations related to that illness.

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Watch Out for These Unhealthy Coping Methods for Losing a Loved One

Losing a loved one is never easy, no matter how many times you may have experienced it before. Dealing with loss can be confusing, infuriating, and difficult. It is important that we make sure we do not cope with loss in a negative manner since we are extremely vulnerable at such times.

So, if you or anyone is grieving, make sure to watch out for these unhealthy coping methods.

  • Denial

Denial can come in many forms. The most obvious is unwilling to accept that your loved one has gone. People who are in denial may still talk about the deceased in the present tense, as if they are still alive. Another form is talking about the death as if it happened recently, even though it may have been months or years.

  • Engaging in risky behavior

A common unhealthy coping method is to engage in risky behavior such as excessive drinking, consuming drugs, becoming physically violent and aggressive, acting out sexually, etc. These types of behavior, if not treated, can damage the person in the long run.

  • Becoming depressed or anxious or both

Being sad about the loss of a loved one is normal, even if its been some time since the death. However, there is a huge difference between being sad and being depressed. If the person is continuously moody, anxious, cries excessively and is unable to go about with his/her daily life, it is definitely a sign of depression.

  • Significant changes in personality

Someone who is mourning may undergo significant changes in personality if he/she does not cope in a healthy manner. For example, they may over-eat or under-eat, become extremely moody, etc. In other words, they often become someone they werent before they lost that person.

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Tips On Writing A Eulogy

When writing a eulogy, you should always remember that you are not writing a book about the deceased. So, keep it short and sweet, and make your words count. If possible, write a eulogy you can deliver in no more than five minutes.

To help you out, we have listed out some useful tips to help you write a beautiful, meaningful eulogy that everyone can appreciate.

  • Make sure you choose a positive tone

When writing a eulogy, make sure that the overall tone is positive. Focus on the positive qualities of the deceased. If he/she lived a difficult or troubled life, you dont have to talk about that. The audience probably already knows it, and it will only make mourning that much more difficult. So, choose to focus on their positive traits.

  • Keep it personal by sharing anecdotes and stories

Remember to include humorous or heart-warming stories and anecdotes about the deceased, maybe something that both of you experienced. You can use these stories to support a point that you are trying to make, like how they possessed a positive quality. For example, if you want to share that he/she was someone who was giving and generous, you can share a story to support that.

  • Dont talk about yourself for too long

Always keep in mind that even though you are the one delivering the eulogy, it is not about you. So, dont make it about yourself. just give a brief introduction, stating your name and how you are related to/know the deceased, and thats all you have to say about yourself. Avoid using too many first person pronouns like I and me.

  • Close it with comforting words and say your last goodbye

Finally, make sure to close your eulogy with words that lend peace and comfort. You can talk about valuable life lessons the deceased taught you, or something similar. Then, end it with one, last goodbye.

Thanks for reading,

Karen