At a wake I was recently attending the priest said, "People always come to us in times of grief asking why, as if we would have the answers for them. But we don't, only God has those answers."
And I was standing in the back of the rooms thinking, "well shit."
The death of a loved one is one of the most difficult things we as a human race have to deal with. Stuck with the thought that we maybe never see this person again (depending on your religious views) the finality of death is terrifying.
If we aren't careful, the grief we feel can consume us forever. So no matter how hard, I try to take something positive away from the situation.
The Death of a family member
Always one of the more difficult cases. You're parents are rocked by the news which makes things harder for you since they are supposed to be your rocks. Instead of focusing on how each holiday is now going to be different, try and grow your family ties with your living relatives. I know there are times when you ignore your aunts call or forget to send a birthday card.
You should be celebrating their life and enjoying the connection you have with them while you have the chance. It is still going to hurt losing a family member, but through your other family you can share the grief and become stronger.
The Death of a friend
This one is a particular grief that I wish on no one, especially at a young age. One of my good friends said it best, "You always wonder about your own funeral, but never a friends."
The idea of a life taken to young is shocking. It reminds us that we are not invincible, that petty fights or drifting apart can last forever. The only thing you can take away from a loss of a friend is to try and become a better friend.
This means be the one to say sorry first even if you think you are right. This means dropping a text even if you think its out of the blue. Those are the texts that make peoples days and can breathe new life into a friendship.
The Death of a close family friend
You know those people. The ones that you are somehow related to through your parents but they are around even more then your actual family. These are the ones that really hit home because they watched you grow up, they lived near you, you have inside jokes with them that didn't always even include your parents.
They weren't just family, they were your friend too.
Finding something good to come out of a death of a family friend is difficult. You lost someone that was not only your friend but extremely close to your parents too.
What you have to remember is the good memories. And then talk with your family about them...a lot. Talk about how he loved cannoli's or how he drove a boat like a crazy man. Thinking good thoughts will eventually dull the pain and just leave you with a happy feeling when reminiscing.
The most important thing you can do is talk about them. Just because they are gone does not mean you have to forget. Just make sure you are focusing on the joy they brought into your life, not the sadness you feel because they have gone.