December 23 2011

How to get over death of a loved one

This will probably be the most personal post I will ever write. I am writing this now at the suggestion of my friend. He said it would be a good read, coming from me. I am not usually very personal in my posts, simply because I don’t want to be, but I thought I give this a shot.

So as the title states, this post is about how to get over a death of a loved one. Call it dealing with death, ways to cope with death, how to cope with grieving, or even more plain and simple: How to deal with life. Call it whatever the fuck you want, I think it can help you all the same. I certainly HOPE it can help or make for some positive effect on anyone who reads this post.

Call it strange, but I have several close friends who have suffered loss of a family member, be it through death or plain abandonment. So this post goes out to you all too.

What this post is not:

This is NOT a practical guide where I bring you through the stages of loss or grief. I don’t know shit about that. This is just a personal reflection and perspective of having to deal with death of a loved one.

Dad passed away on June 11th 2006

That’s my extremely handsome father up there.

He suffered and died from this fucked up disease called Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. If you are interested to know more about it just click on the link. All I am going to say it’s a fucked up disease, right up there along side with cancer.

I was 20 when it happened.

My biggest takeaway

How it kind of happened was that I came home from work super early in the morning and then suddenly all the lights in the house were switched on. My brother then told me that our dad has passed on. I ran to the master bed room and saw the most insane sight I had in my life:

My own dad’s corpse on his bed.

And so it hit me like a big, motherfucking truck. When you are as unfortunately fated (juxtaposed these two words for a reason) as me to see something like that, you realize that shit in life is very real, very fucking real, as I have written in my About Me.

And so it’s with this “realness” that I use and always try to deal with this in my life.

How to deal with death of a loved one

 1) Just let it all out

That means to say, just let all your emotions pour out. Cry, scream, punch, kick or talk crap. I don’t care. DO NOT repress your emotions. Bottling up your feelings is one of the worst things you can do to yourself, especially when something major like that happens to you in your life.

Don’t put up a front just cause you want to appear strong to this world or something. The world is the world. They cannot and will never understand what you go through in your own special life. So deal with it the way you want.

2) Be real about your feelings

But you have to realize that life still goes on and you still need to play by the world’s rules.

Cry all you like- But do it in private or with your close ones. Cry at work or in public and people are going to get sick of it.

Scream at the top of your voice- Scream in your room please. Scream in public and people may think you are a terrorist.

Punch and kick- The fucking wall. Get into shit outside and your ass is going to end up in prison.

These are all common sense right? The MAIN point is, realistically speaking, despite suffering a tragic loss in the family, you shouldn’t add more shit in your life, on your own accord at that.

You may be totally depressed or angry as shit, but… ask yourself, can you really handle the stress of say, losing a job? Losing your friends? Losing money? Getting kicked out of school? It may be easy to say, “Ah fuck all that!” at the height of all emotions, but you ought to look out for your future. Don’t go into a downward spiral you can’t get out of.

Being real is important because, even though you have a lot to deal with in your life, the world doesn’t stop just for you.

I am an angry dickhead, but I am NOT violent (save for one incident I decided to start a fight with some loser I hate LMAO). I let it all out in safe manners otherwise =).

3) Realize you aren’t alone

As mentioned above, I have several friends who have suffered the same loss as I did.

To me, I find it comforting to know that I am not alone in this fucked up world dealing with shit like this. In fact, sometimes I seek solace in just KNOWING that I can talk to them anytime.

Whoever you are, you may not have closed ones who go through the same thing. But the main message here is this still: You aren’t alone.

And there’s someone else out there in this huge world who has gone through the same if not gone through worse.

4) Make a positive change in your life and help others

A cliche statement would be: Always look on the bright side of life.

I say: The fucking world wouldn’t stop throwing shit at you, but it’s always up to you to make a positive change around it. No matter what.

A few days after my dad’s cremation, I went to meet some close friends. One of them said to me immediately, “Alden! Bro! Hey, my own dad passed away a few years ago. So if you need to talk to me about anything, and I mean ANYTHING, please do!”.

I was surprised cause I didn’t know his dad died of cancer.

Of course I was very fucking thankful for that, as in him opening up to me.

With that, I decided that I can help others too, especially those who go through the same shit.

If you aim to help others in life; to spread some form of positiveness and pick others up in time of need, things can’t go wrong. I don’t want to be all cliche and say, “Oh yeah things happen for a reason and I found my reason”, but if you just try to help, you will definitely feel that much better about yourself and your life. I mean come on, helping others is always good and never wrong.

5) Care for yourself more

I used to be a lot angrier in life. Ironically, my father’s death made me less angry. Makes sense? Read on.

Before my father’s death, I always did the “right thing”. When friends insulted me, I walked away and didn’t retort. I didn’t fight. But all the right things in life just guaranteed me going home pissed. 

So another big takeaway for me: Sometimes in life, you just got to watch out and care for yourself more than anything in this world.

And it took a view of my own father’s corpse on his bed to realize this.

It is actually very okay for you to follow your heart, do what you love, care for yourself, not give a fuck about others and ultimately, be happy. 

This can go very well with point 4 above. Use this and make a positive change in your life and those around you.

I am telling you this now, you do NOT need to go through what I did to realize this in life. You have the power to do so, today.

Note: Please read point 2 and be real about it all. Sometimes you need to take a step back and realize what you are in the world still. Don’t go all caring for yourself only and end up being a selfish dickhead.

Oh, those asshole friends of mine who put me down last time? I have fallen out with most of them. And it feels fucking great. It’s not me saying, “Don’t mess with me”. I am just saying, “I don’t deal with things in life that don’t serve me positively anymore”. 

6) Take your time, but hurry

Lastly, just take your time, because of point 5. Don’t rush yourself on such delicate matters.

But hurry, because of point 2.

Found this nice shit on Facebook.

I wouldn’t say this is a guide on helping to get over death of a loved on or the definite ways to cope with death or grief. It’s just a personal reflection. I hope it can help others. Really.

Also yeah, cherish and love your parents. They are pretty much the only two people in the world who can offer you unconditional love. 

Peace out dad!!

54 Comments

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  • Reply

    Joe

    5 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your feeling with us!

    I like the way you said to let the emotions out! Yah, really letting it out allows healing to take place. There are actually Coaches who support those who grief. (I’m not one of them.) They deal with more serious case, who couldn’t get over the lost of love ones.

    • Reply

      alden

      5 months ago

      No prob Joe!

      Yep, letting it out is important. Repression is a no go. But you got to balance it too =). These coaches must do an amazing job then. I am not professionally certified or anything. To each his own I guess!

  • Reply

    Steve

    5 months ago

    It was a long time ago for me (Jan 86) but I was 17 when my Dad died.

    Of ALS.

    What a fucking horrible disease. To this day if I come across or hear ‘the voice,’ I still lose my shit.

    Not a lot of friends to turn to for advice on what the fuck to do with what’s going on in your head.

    Oh, and then five days later, the Space Shuttle blew up.

    Life can sometimes kick you in the balls before you even get going. And given what some kids have to deal with, I was probably pretty lucky.

    • Reply

      alden

      5 months ago

      Stay strong Steve. What do you mean by “the voice”? Care to elaborate?

      Yeah life kicks you in the balls, but it’s up to us to pick ourselves up.

  • Reply

    Cam

    5 months ago

    Man, you get a huge amount of respect from me for being willing to make yourself vulnerable and share how you felt in this situation within a medium like this.

    • Reply

      alden

      5 months ago

      Thanks bro. Well, guess I am comfortable with it. I mean if it can help or inspire along the way, why not? If not many are willing, I will do it.

  • Reply

    Shannyn @frugalbeautiful.com

    5 months ago

    Head nods and high fives- I totally get this. Within 2 years I lost two mentors: one to cancer one to an illness that was never understood since the family refused an autopsy. My Gram died to heart failure and one of my best friends died at age 21 to a pulmonary embolism in her sleep. It’s time to get real and live- when you know the clock is ticking you start thinking about it and answering to it.

    Glad to see you in the blogosphere.

    • Reply

      alden

      5 months ago

      Nice to meet you too!
      Yes it’s sad that we have had to experience losing loved ones. Death changes your perspective on so many things in life. But I agree with you: It’s just time to get real and live.

  • Reply

    Mike

    4 months ago

    Just found you through Twitter, but wanted to say a couple of things. I’m sorry about the loss of your father, but I’m glad to see that it has energized you the way this post indicates that it has. It took 38 years and 15-months in Afghanistan for me to remember at least one thing that you seem to have already figured out: to live and take chances. Good luck and I’ll be following!

    • Reply

      alden

      4 months ago

      Thanks for dropping by Mike!

      Yes it was a very painful turning point of my life, but I want to make a positive change around it.

      Wow 15-months? Were you in the army?

  • Reply

    Sunshine

    4 months ago

    Well, this hit home. So, it hasn’t been very long. My dad died last year, on the first day of school of Cancer. I’m the last and his little princess. I got a say in his funeral arrangements, got to see him in the freezer and rode in the hearse with him, from the funeral home to the chapel, and from the chapel to the grave site. The site of the casket with his body in it being lowered into the hole in the ground resonates in my memory. However, after his death, I breathed freer than I’ve ever breathed in my life.

    I guess because it was a realization of how short life is and that illness and death do not discriminate. He was an awesome man, but he suffered for a long while and was ready to go. In the end he even saw his dad coming to meet him (my grand-dad was awesome too). He always did what he wanted to and was always so happy with everything at the best and worst times. He taught me so much, gave me so much and even today I have nothing but good thoughts (makes it even harder but…)and great memories (at least). I thought back on that and realized that I should make myself happy. It’s not really the “I don’t give a shit attitude” that took over, but more of the “I need to be happy attitude”.

    Your story has helped and brought on some tears too (luckily I’m in a back room in the Library) because sometimes you think you’re alone and it feels like you’re the only one who’s come out of the experience with certain realizations. I am still healing and from talking to people who’ve had this experience I learned that it never stops. I guess that’s how he felt about his parents (he wished to be buried next to them), the way I feel about him.

    Thank you

    • Reply

      alden

      4 months ago

      Hey Sunshine,

      Thanks so much for sharing that. I know what you mean when you said you breathed freer.

      That’s great man. Illness and death do not discriminate. Nice. Glad to know that you’re choosing to be more happy now.

      Haha hope you didn’t attract too much attention at the library :P

      Peace.

  • Reply

    angie bailey

    4 months ago

    Thank you for your words. They are so helpful. When I was 15 my 4 month old daughter Misty died in her crib that was less than a foot away. Im 38 now, and still struggle. Your thoughts seem to pick me up!! Thanks again!

    • Reply

      alden

      4 months ago

      Glad it helped Angie :). So sorry to hear about your daughter. I know it’s hard and it comes, but make a positive spin out of it.

  • Reply

    Mary Callahan

    4 months ago

    Im 21 and My mom who was also my best friend passed away a week ago today. Your article has helped me out thank you!

    • Reply

      alden

      4 months ago

      Sorry to hear that Mary. Glad it did! Take care.

  • Reply

    raj

    3 months ago

    Thanks so much for your post. I lost my dad a little over 7 months ago. I repressed my feelings for a while but I’ve been allowing myself to feel the way I feel while still respecting the ppl around me. I believe in positive thinking and my dad was a wonderful person. Our loved ones will always be missed just gotta find a way to go on and remember that at least we had that time with them. Wish you all the best of luck xo.

    • Reply

      alden

      3 months ago

      Thanks for sharing Raj. I’m sure he was a great person too.

  • Reply

    Luisania

    3 months ago

    I lost my aunt’s ex-husband. He was like a father to me and I cry and pray for him almost every night before I sleep. It sucks to know that he’s gone and that you’re not going to c him again.

  • Reply

    Luisania

    3 months ago

    I’ve also lost my cousin. He got shot which is way harder to take than a natural death because you feel like you could’ve been there to save your cousin, but you weren’t and want to find revenge.

    • Reply

      alden

      3 months ago

      Hey Luisania,

      Sorry to hear that and that you gotta go through it all.

      Don’t seek revenge.

      It’s hard, but try to make a positive spin out of it and make something for yourself ok?

      Negativity is a deep spiral.

  • Reply

    Stephy

    3 months ago

    Thank you so much for sharing this, my grandmother passed away on a hospital bed in the intensive care section and it hurt me so much for her to pass on. She always made a better person of me and your words did too. :D

    • Reply

      alden

      3 months ago

      Glad it did. Live on. Your grandma would want that. Go do something you love.

  • Reply

    TCM

    3 months ago

    Thanks for your straight talk. I’ve grieved before but this time in particular really stings. I appreciate your communication style, no bull shit. You have good advice, thanks.

  • Reply

    Jordan

    3 months ago

    Yah thanks for that. My grandpa just died and the. My cat ran away. And I think I cried more when my cat ran away. I guess because me and my twin brother just kept it all bottled up. But I got a new cat and I deal like I don’t treat her as well as I treated my other cat because I still miss her and I still cry a lot. Idk where in going with this but yah, thanks it helped

  • Reply

    Jordan

    3 months ago

    Feel* im*

  • Reply

    Resham

    3 months ago

    True. feelings must be let out. I lost my best friend a few months ago. I don’t know how to express it but its all a different world without him. I miss him. He had cancer. I couldn’t meet him . Just saw him once from the adjacent room window when he was in MICU. Its so so so so bad. Its cruel. I cant stop thinking about him. Sometimes, I forget he’s dead. and it strikes all of a sudden and it leaves me dumb and shaken. I dont know how to put in words what happens to me at times. Its a bad phase. painful. I so wanted to meet him. I couldn’t. He meant so much to me. I never could tell this to him. I am sorry I am writing sucha long story. But I dont know what to do.

    • Reply

      alden

      3 months ago

      Sorry to hear that man.

      Don’t worry man. I’m sure where ever he is now, he’s happy and proud knowing you’re busy being the person you’re meant to be.

      Don’t sweat it dude. It hurts, but the hurt is what makes us real.

  • Reply

    roseann

    3 months ago

    Lost my son in 2011 he was 20 he drowned at a beach in my son country whilst visiting i feel so guilty for allowing him to go even though i told him not to i am missing him so much right now and just found your post on Google thanks so much

    • Reply

      alden

      3 months ago

      I’m sorry to hear that.

      Don’t feel guilty. I’m sure wherever he is now he’s happy knowing you tried and is happy being the person you are.

  • Reply

    jovan

    3 months ago

    thanks so much this really helped me. i just lost my big bro this week and it hurts like no other n i didnt know how to feel , but reading this showed me that its okay to hurt n show your hurt. THANKS FOR YOUR HELP and SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS.

    • Reply

      alden

      3 months ago

      Sorry for your loss man. Glad it helped.

  • Reply

    madhu

    3 months ago

    i lost my 17 year old bro. i missss himmmm. dis feeling is worst. wanna dieeee. wanna go to himmm. i misss himmmmmmm

  • Reply

    Asha

    3 months ago

    I’m doing all of the things you pretty much said and I know it’s only been a week since the passing of my grandma but I have one question……… Over time will It get better or will I randomly cry and get upset if I’m not keeping my mind busy and off of this? I’m just scared that I’m gonna be sad all the time :(

    • Reply

      alden

      2 months ago

      It will get better. Just make the choice that you want to be better.

      All on you.

  • Reply

    webpage

    2 months ago

    Very good post. I’m experiencing some of these issues as well..

  • Reply

    tom flynn

    2 months ago

    wow this is some powerful stuff,my uncle died last week and i was so angry no one wanted to be around me.i was his caregiver for many years,not one of my family member would help me,and i was so bitter.but when he passed they were all by his side your blog has turned my head,you are so right about positive thinking i could have made a bad situation worse if i hadn’t thought positive,i’ve decided to be just that positive.i hope everyone that feels like i do read your blog it was so inspiring thanks a million for your words of wisdom.

    • Reply

      alden

      2 months ago

      No prob Tom. I’m glad it helped. Take care of yourself.

  • Reply

    Audrey Pellicano

    2 months ago

    Hi Alden,

    I came across your post and was so impressed with your openness and desire to share with and help others. I would like to share your post in my blog. I am a Grief Recovery Specialist working primarily with widows and women who have lost a parent. I feel your words, minus the cuss words, (LOL), can be of help to my readers. Let me know if I have the go ahead to share.

    Be well,
    Audrey Pellicano

    • Reply

      alden

      2 months ago

      No prob! Thanks for dropping by. Go ahead and share. Sorry I replied late :(

  • Reply

    george

    1 month ago

    Hi man? This is george from nairobi, i lost my Dad aweek ago, it was hard but thanks alot because after reading that article am ready to face life more than ever thanks!

    • Reply

      alden

      1 month ago

      Glad it helped George. Let me know if you need a listening ear.

  • Reply

    Matt W

    15 weeks ago

    Hello Alden,

    My dad died four days ago. I can’t sleep, I can barely breathe and I’m constantly checking my pulse. This is the first death I’ve ever experienced in my life and it’s so much harder than I would have ever imagined. Thanks so much for your post. It helped reading this and I’m sorry for your loss.

    • Reply

      alden

      14 weeks ago

      Sorry to hear that dude. I’m emailing you now.

  • Reply

    Christine

    11 weeks ago

    I randomly came across this post after browsing around.
    My dad actually passed away just a few days before your father, on June 7, 2006. I was 18 at the time, a week away from my high school graduation, and his death was very sudden. I can relate so much to what you wrote in this post… from the uncontrollable anger to crying hysterically, but mostly about realizing I needed to look out for myself and do what makes me happy.

    I’m writing this in the middle of the night so this might not make much sense, but just wanted to thank you for sharing your thoughts. :)

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