After cremation services in Mount Vernon, WA and family and friends return to their homes, jobs or schools, and lives, the deep part of grieving begins. Although there is much talk about closure after someone we love dies, it’s hard to know what that means, whether it’s possible, and how to get there.
In our society, closure means returning to normal. This is generally expected to occur within a matter of a few weeks or a few months. However, the expectation is that closure leaves grieve behind, when in reality you will never stop grieving for the loss of someone you love. And why would you want to?
Closure is not an event, but a process in which the nature of grief changes. At first, the death of someone we love seems unreal. It doesn’t matter whether it was sudden or we knew it was coming. That unreality is simply the way our minds react.
We find ourselves wishing it wasn’t true that our loved ones have died. We keep expecting someone to tell us it was just a big mistake. We are surprised that they don’t walk through the door. Initially, it’s impossible to comprehend what the death of a loved one means. You won’t physically see them again. You won’t hear their voices again. You won’t feel their arms embrace you again. You won’t be able to get valued input on important decisions again.
It can take weeks or months for that reality to fully sink in. Eventually, both your heart and your head accept that your loved one has died and isn’t coming back. You will never be happy about that, but you can finally accept that it’s true.
Once you get to this point, it’s easier to start moving forward and make choices that envision the future. It’s a different life than you had planned, but it’s still life as long as you’re breathing, so you realize you can’t just stagnate and stay where you are or even go back to the way you were. The pain and loss is still very much with you, but except in short emotional moments, it’s not crippling and crushing you.
Healing from the loss of a loved one is a long and slow process. In fact, it’s not so much healing, because the void of their absence will never go away, as it is learning to live without them and being okay with that. Tears will come. Fears will come. Despair will come. But so will happiness, confidence, and hope. At times you will feel as though for every step forward you take, you take three steps back.
The key to the process of closure is to be patient with the process. It’s not a straight line on flat ground. Instead, it’s full of curvy roads through valleys and hills, and some will be harder to navigate than others. If you’re having “one of those days,” be kind and gentle to yourself. You don’t put the loss of a loved one behind you. What you do is build memories that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Loving someone doesn’t mean forgetting them, but instead it means remembering them.
For additional grief resources after cremation services, our compassionate and experienced team at Moles Farewell Tributes & Crematory – Bayview Chapel is here to help. We also serve the areas of Bellingham, Ferndale and Mount Vernon, WA. You can come to our funeral home at 2465 Lakeway Dr., Bellingham, WA 98229 or you can call us today at (360) 733-0510.