Losing a Loved One—How to Cope and More

Young man comforting his sister after a near family member died.

Losing a loved one feels sad, lonely, and at times, devastating. This part of life is not easy to go through, but we all experience this loss in some way in our lifetime. When this hardship occurs in our lives, we all handle loss in different ways, and waves of emotion come at different times—sometimes when we least expect them. Feelings of sadness, grief, anger, and even happiness can surface, and it can be helpful to know different ways to cope with these emotions when they arise.

Grief is a personal journey. Being with people who love and support you can help, regardless of where you are in that journey. Learning from others who have experienced grief and loss, or from grief counselors, can also help. This article also has many resources to help you move forward, cope with your loss, or even manage the immediate needs of loss.

Losing a Loved One—Life’s Most Stressful Event

When you lose a loved one, you undergo many changes. You may feel there is something wrong with your brain, and sometimes there is. Experiencing loss has been equated to experiencing a brain injury because when someone close to us passes away, it changes many of the patterns in our lives, causing our brains to not recognize the world it is used to. Losing a loved one is known as one of “life’s most stressful events.”

As we pass through stages of shock, life still moves forward, and we have to cope with life going on around us even when we wish we could pause life so we can experience these feelings. Experiencing the loss of a loved one can also be a time when we cling to religious beliefs or try to find some meaning in our lives. This article on coping with grief and life’s purpose may help you to sort out different feelings and learn how to cope.

What Can Help?

Soon after a loved one passes away, we often have to move forward, even if we are not ready, to plan a funeral, service, or celebration of life ceremony. We have put together a few articles to help support you with this process.

December 1, 2021
As you continue your journey through grief, this article offers some ideas on how to be patient with yourself and others as well as ideas on things you can do to recover from the loss. Sharing memories and finding strength to endure are covered in this article to help you to find insight and healing.
May 27, 2022
Family history can be a major link to help you cope with the loss of a loved one. Sharing memories of your loved one and talking through grief with others are wonderful stepping stones to help with the loss. In this article, you will learn how to post your loved one’s obituary as well as memories and photos of them to FamilySearch. By sharing your memories, other family members can learn more about them and their life. This can be healing and comforting to know that others can remember your loved one and add their own memories to your loved one’s profile too.
January 3, 2022
In this article, you will find a wide variety of ideas for planning a funeral, including how to create unique displays, ideas on who should speak, how to display videos, and steps on how to plan the service.
May 27, 2021
Rather than holding a traditional funeral service, some choose a celebration of life ceremony. In this article, you will learn the difference between a funeral and a celebration of life ceremony. Celebrations of life aren’t always held in the same traditional setting as a funeral, and this article offers some ideas on how to remember and honor your loved one in personalized ways.

After the funeral or celebration of life ceremony, there is still much grief and sorrow that will linger for quite some time. Here are some articles to help you cope with grief and find ways to memorialize your loved one.
June 5, 2021
As time goes on, we still want to remember our loved ones. This article contains many ideas on how to remember and share those memories with others. Ideas such as visiting your loved one’s grave, planning celebrations, making memory jars, and more are highlighted in this article.

When losing a loved one, it is natural to feel alone, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. People in your life want to share the grief with you and can be a shoulder to cry on or a person to laugh with, grieve with, or just to spend time with when there are no words to say. At times people may say the wrong thing, but most are trying to help and offer love and support for you during your grief journey.

Please share with us what has helped you after losing a loved one, in the comments below. Perhaps your thoughts can help someone else in need.