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How to prepare for the death of a loved one

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Reflect on what you want or need to say

Everyone approaches mortality differently. Some people choose to take the time to mend relationships and others share memories or lessons learned. It’s important to take the time to tell your loved one whatever it is you want them to hear. Ask yourself, ‘What would I wish I would have said to them when they are no longer alive to hear it?' Then, write your thoughts down or say them into the air to get clarity on what it is you want to say.

Build a support network

Grief can feel incredibly lonely. You can have a huge support system and still feel isolated. Allow yourself to accept the support offered by others. If you find yourself in a situation where you do not have a support system, consider joining a support group, connect with your spiritual community, or reach out to people you know. It can be healing to share your story or hear about others in the same situation.

Take time for self-care

Preparing for a loved one’s death can be incredibly exhausting. Give yourself permission to set aside at least 15 minutes per day to intentionally engage in self-care practices without interruption. Self-care may also include getting out and being with people. Even though you may be grieving what is to come, ‘being social is still allowed'.

Schedule time off from work

There are mental health benefits to taking time off work to sit with the grief and process it before jumping back into work. But there are also benefits to getting back into your usual routine, including work. There’s no right answer when it comes to grief, so it can help to check in with yourself and think about what feels right at the moment.

Learn about the grieving process

Grief affects different people in different ways. It may come in waves and change over time. Nevertheless, once you experience it, it may never completely exit your life.
Leaning into your emotions and understanding what grief is and knowing warning signs to look out for is important. Grief can come and go. It may reoccur on anniversaries, like birthdays and holidays. Grief can also turn into something more that may require treatment.

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