Chapter 3: How has this loss affected my family?

Talking with my family about this loss

Your family members will talk about this death in their own ways. You may all grow stronger and closer by talking about:

  • What you have lost.
  • What the person who died was like and what they meant to you.
  • How the family has dealt with loss in the past.
Talking about loss: 3 common problems

1. Someone not wanting to talk.

"Let's not talk about it. The past is the past."

You might say something like this:
"I want you to know I respect your right not to talk. But I really do want to talk and would like to discuss this with you if and when you are ready."

2. Someone keeps bringing up an upsetting aspect of the person’s illness.

"I can't stop thinking about how much pain he was in at the end."

It is normal to replay difficult events; usually, this flood of memories decreases with time. If it persists, counselling might be needed.

Blaming someone for the death.
"You should have made her go to the doctor years ago."

Be on guard for unrealistic and unfounded blame. It is a distortion of reality that can be destructive to both you and others.