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Friday 28 April 2023

The Importance Of Family In Times Of Grief

When a loved one dies, life appears to come crashing down from the outside, but the warmth of our neighbors, friends and family comfort us from within. There is nothing more important than having a solid community and people we can count to in times of sadness and grief. The truth is, we cannot function by ourselves. We may not even know where to begin or what to do. Family is there to pick you up and carry you through the process. Whether that is as simple as making you a cup of tea and a sandwich when you forget to eat, to handling the heavy decisions that come with funeral arrangements.

We can’t do it alone. The hugs we get from the ones we love and just being close to them mean everything.

Jobs, money, success all fall away when someone dies. You attain a “drop everything and go” mentality. The things that matter most take precedence and your priorities change. You realize that none of us are escaping death. Our lives will come to an end too, and our family will not be around forever. Reality kicks in.

Unfortunately, not everyone has those special people to depend on or turn to for comfort and help. So if you do, don’t take them for granted. We often expect that our family will always be in our lives, so when a member of our family passes away all that’s left in their place is a void; a feeling of emptiness and sadness. Their spirit remains around us, but the physical presence that once was there is gone.

There’s nothing like the love you feel from a close member of your family, that hug of familiarity, the feeling of belonging when you thought you were lost. A warm supporting environment is what we all need when we are grieving, a warm bed and a warm meal. We, humans, are simple creatures. We crave the basics, yet we often neglect these in our everyday lives as we rush from here to there, trying to climb that ladder of success. But when death comes around and knocks you off your feet, you’re left with and crave for nothing else but the basics.

The rest of the world and all its ‘wants’ drift away. Family knows you better than you know yourself. They know what you need when you are not so sure yourself. They have watched you move on, move out and move up, but they also know the true essence of who you are deep down no matter how much you’ve grown or advanced. They remind you to come back home—to yourself and to those who love you.

When you have exciting news to share or something drastic happens, the first people you typically think of to tell the news is a family member. They are your go-to confidants, counselors and listening ears (sometimes with too much advice to share when you’re not even asking for any). They drive us crazy and make us mad but come to our rescue when we are sad.

What is home to you? Is it a place? Is it whenever your heart feels content and happy? Or is It where the people you love most are?

-Siobhán Regan

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