By: Jackie Walters
depression and anxiety that can set in after the loss of a spouse can be
devastating, and most of us don’t know quite how to deal with those feelings,
especially when they hang around for weeks or even months. Losing a spouse is
difficult for everyone, but for seniors the experience is a little different,
as they are entering a stage of life that makes leaning on a lifelong companion
a comfort. Because everyone copes with grief differently, there’s no one way to
handle it; knowing what works best for you is important for you to be able to
important to understand that grief and sadness take a while to come to terms
with. Many people still feel an acute sense of loss 18 months after losing a
loved one, although those feelings tend to abate soon after that. The key is to
remember that you will begin to feel
better after some time has passed, and that those feelings won’t last forever.
some of the best ways to cope with grief and sadness.
Be kind to yourself
important not to place any expectations on yourself during this time. Everyone
grieves differently, and although there are typically five stages of grief that most people experience – denial, anger,
bargaining, depression, and acceptance – you may feel a completely different
range of emotions, or they may come in a different order. Whatever you’re
feeling, it’s normal after the loss of someone who was close to you. You may
feel angry at your spouse for leaving you, or wish it was you instead of them.
Allow yourself to have those feelings and try not to place limits on yourself.
Grief is unique to each and every person.
Don’t keep it inside
Find ways to
express your feelings. Keeping your emotions bottled up, either because it’s
painful to talk about your loss or because you don’t want to burden anyone with
your grief, can make the process worse. If you don’t feel comfortable talking
to a friend or family member, consider seeking a counselor or therapist who
specializes in grief, or join a grief support group. Or, if that’s not right
for you, keep a journal and write in it daily. Being able to get your thoughts
out onto paper can be extremely helpful.
Stick to your routine
seem difficult or impossible, but sticking to your normal routine can help you
cope with your feelings a little better. Try to do something productive every
day; make a piece of art, clean a room in the house, or go for a long walk with
the dog. In fact, spending time with animals can be very helpful during this
time, as they can help reduce stress and anxiety. It can be hard to stick to
your routine if your spouse was the one who kept things in order by cleaning
the house, staying on top of bills, or keeping up the yard. Don’t shy away from
hiring help to get your life back to normal whether that is hiring a housekeeper or caregiver. You might ask a trusted family
member to help with the financials and ensure you don’t miss a payment.
Take care of yourself
sadness can make you feel like all you want to do is sleep, or you might feel
like you never want to sleep again. Your eating habits will change, your stress
levels will fluctuate, and your moods might make you feel like you don’t even
know yourself. This is all normal, but everyone copes with these things
differently, and it’s important to find healthy ways to deal with them. Turning
to alcohol to “numb the pain” might seem like a good idea at the time, but
alcohol only makes things worse when the effects wear off. Instead, turn to
exercise or volunteer at a local charitable organization. Use this difficult
period in your life to grow closer to your children and grandchildren - who
will be sure to put a smile on your face; or seek the solace of friends. This
too shall pass, but you must take of yourself while it does.
A United States flag is provided, at no cost, to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran who served honorably in the U. S. Armed Forces. It is furnished to honor the memory of a veteran's military service to his or her country.
Who Is Eligible to Receive the Burial Flag?
Generally, the flag is given to the next-of-kin, as a keepsake, after its use during the funeral service. When there is no next-of-kin, VA will furnish the flag to a friend making request for it. For those VA national cemeteries with an Avenue of Flags, families of veterans buried in these national cemeteries may donate the burial flags of their loved ones to be flown on patriotic holidays.
How Can You Apply?
You may apply for the flag by completing VA Form 27-2008, Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes. You may get a flag at any VA regional office or U.S. Post Office. Generally, the funeral director will help you obtain the flag.
Can a Burial Flag Be Replaced?
The law allows us to issue one flag for a veteran's funeral. We cannot replace it if it is lost, destroyed, or stolen. However, some veterans' organizations or other community groups may be able to help you get another flag.
How Should the Burial Flag Be Displayed?
The proper way to display the flag depends upon whether the casket is open or closed. VA Form 27-2008 provides the correct method for displaying and folding the flag. The burial flag is not suitable for outside display because of its size and fabric. It is made of cotton and can easily be damaged by weather.
For More Information Call Toll-Free at 1-800-827-1000
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