How to process and deal with a death

Death is a pretty gloomy topic. Understandably, we associate death with loss, absence, pain and anguish, and it certainly isn’t something we yearn for when it comes to ourselves or our loved ones. Unfortunately, though, death in this life is inevitable, and despite its certainty, many of us have tremendous difficulty when it comes to processing death and grieving.

My Opa passed away recently. He died roughly a week and a half before his 94th birthday, so it’s safe to say he lived a long life. He was a relatively healthy man up until the last few months of his life, during which he lost most of his vision, hearing, mobility, ability to breathe, and ultimately his freedom.

Seeing my Opa go from an energetic, optimistic man to a withdrawn and limited one was very difficult to watch. Having to witness his health deteriorate so rapidly was disheartening, especially since he was extremely independent prior to his health becoming a concern. He passed away in a nursing home which my family and I moved him into just a few weeks before, and it was difficult to comprehend how he must have felt both physically and mentally towards his final hours.

When I learned that he had passed away, I experienced a few different emotions, with sadness and grief being most prominent. However, after giving it a little bit of thought, I experienced other emotions, for example, relief as I realized he was free from his bodily ailments, and even happiness as he is now reunited with my Oma who passed away over a year ago. Had I not allowed myself to contemplate my Opa’s death from a different, more optimistic perspective, I would likely be struggling emotionally right now as opposed to being accepting of the events at hand and processing them in an adequate manner.

When death presents itself, consider looking at it from an alternate perspective. It may change your life.

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