For Military Families and Veterans: Dealing with Grief After a Loss

December 15, 2017 9:48 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

It goes without saying that military families and veterans who have lost loved ones will experience horrible grief and sadness. Whether they were active duty or retired military at the time of their passing, these brave individuals left behind family members, friends and fellow military comrades, many of who will need time to heal or benefit from grief counseling.

The death of a loved one or close friend is never easy, especially if the death is sudden or happened far away from home. Below is some helpful information from a funeral home in Westchester, IL on dealing with grieving the loss of servicemen and -women.

Common reactions and emotions

After learning of a death, you may experience a wide range of emotions, including denial, confusion, shock, sadness, anger, guilt and despair. Know that these are very common reactions to loss. Some people may even have physical symptoms associated with grief, ranging from minor discomfort to temporary debilitation. Physical symptoms may include stomach pain, intestinal upset, loss of appetite, problems sleeping and decreased energy.

While mourning is natural, you must remember to care for yourself, because mental and physical responses to this type of stressor can lead to illness, worsening conditions, anxiety, depression and chronic fatigue. Your mind may also be going a mile a minute trying to figure out what you are going to do now—being the only parent, having to contact family and friends, returning to work, etc.

Coping with grief

Don’t hold back your grief when a loved one dies. If you are in shock, it could take you a little longer to begin coping, and that’s okay. Below are a few ways to cope after a loss:

  • Go to caring people: Talk to caring family members and friends about your feelings to help you through the grieving process. If a support group will help you, join one with others dealing with similar losses. For example, bases will have support groups for military families and veterans who’ve lost loved ones. If you are more comfortable talking about your feelings one on one, reach out to a relative, close friend, church official or military chaplain.
  • Seek professional help: Seeking professional help is not a sign of weakness. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and in pain, a professional can help you through your grief and ease your mind.
  • Take care of yourself: The physical reactions to coping with grief can leave you not eating, sleeping or functioning well in your everyday life. See your doctor to check on your health.
  • Be patient: It will take time to absorb everything, to figure out your next move and to start living in the present. You must do your best to be patient with yourself after a loss.

It can be difficult understanding why someone you cared about passed away, but know there are people (family, friends, organizations) who are willing to help you cope with your grief.

Marik-Baken Funeral Services Ltd. is a compassionate funeral home in Westchester, IL offering customized funeral services ranging from pre-arranged planning to traditional funerals to memorials. We are proud to assist military families in their time of need. Contact us for more information.

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