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What's Next
What's Next
What's Next
Электронная книга157 страниц1 час

What's Next

Автор Michael Miller

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There hasn't been one resource that helps with the immediate essentials while preparing you for life beyond loss - until now. What's Next - The Journey Forward: Living Life After a Loss helps those enduring the loss of a loved one tackle the immediate practicalities while it provides gentle guidance for getting life back on track when it seems like you'll be derailed forever.
Дата выпуска14 июл. 2015 г.
What's Next
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Michael Miller

Michael Miller is a prolific and best-selling writer. He has written more than 200 books over the past three decades on a variety of nonfiction topics. He graduated from Indiana University and worked in the publishing business. He lives in Minnesota with his wife Sherry.

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    What's Next - Michael Miller



    The funeral industry in America is staffed by good people doing their best to take care of families at a very difficult time. They work hard to make sure that both the bereaved and the deceased are treated with dignity and respect and that to the best of their ability, they honor a family’s wishes for the rituals surrounding the end of life.

    As a veteran of more than 25 years with a national funeral services company, I witnessed this firsthand. But as I visited funeral home after funeral home, I also saw a disconnect between what families want for their loved ones and what funeral homes could offer.

    Today’s Americans are weary of the dark, dreary, traditional funeral service presided over by a rented reverend in a funeral home chapel. In fact, those chapels are empty more often than not today because people are looking outside the funeral industry for help giving them what they want – a celebration that more appropriately honors and recognizes the life they’ve lost. Americans want an uplifting remembrance. They want a service they and their friends can look forward to, not a somber event they dread.

    Interestingly enough, this desire for a celebration isn’t limited to their loved ones – it’s what people want for their own funeral, too. A survey by Funeralwise.com revealed that just 11 percent of Americans want a traditional funeral for themselves. 11 percent! People are practically begging us to transform how we approach death in this country.

    That is my mission. And this book is part of it.

    What’s Next-The Journey Forward: Living Life After a Loss is a resource that illustrates what you should expect from the funeral services industry. It’s guidance – hand-holding, really-from the start of the experience to well beyond that. It helps with the immediate essentials while preparing you for life beyond loss. This short, easy-to-read book helps you plan for what’s next by tackling the immediate practicalities while providing gentle guidance for getting life back on track when it seems like you’ll be derailed forever.

    In this book, you will discover:

    What to expect and how to cope as you move through the grief and loss process.

    How to avoid scams and rip-offs when you are most vulnerable.

    The best ways to avoid making financial and other mistakes as you deal with new realities.

    The myriad of details that need to be addressed when someone dies, from death certificates to social network accounts.

    How to begin envisioning a new life after loss.

    And much, much more.

    What’s Next is an easy-to-read guide to a new, more life-affirming approach to loss. So, grab a cup of coffee or tea and get comfortable before allowing me to give you the knowledge you need today, and the inspiration and hope you want for tomorrow.

    Michael Miller



    What to Expect When You’re Grieving

    You’re probably reading this book because you have lost or are about to lose someone you are so close to that you are responsible for planning the funeral. That’s a profound loss, indeed.

    In addition to being sad and perhaps feeling lonely, you are probably overwhelmed – so overwhelmed that while you find decision-making challenging, you simply keep moving forward, checking things off the list because it’s your responsibility. It’s important to take a moment or two now, though, to pause and consider the emotions and experiences you might encounter in the coming days, weeks, and months so you know what to expect. After all, with knowledge comes power.

    Let’s start with myths and realities about grief as it relates to death.

    The myth of the five stages of grief

    During my 25-plus years working directly with grieving families, I’ve heard a lot of talk about Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s five stages of grief. You probably know about them, too. The stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Truth is, Kubler-Ross’s research related to people diagnosed with a terminal illness. While some of those five might apply to the grief and sense of loss you experience when a loved one dies, there’s a good chance that not all of them do. Denial, for example, is relevant to a terminal diagnosis – I don’t believe it. I want a second opinion. – but you know better than anyone else that when someone dies, denial is fleeting. You might have said when you got the news, Are you sure? or I can’t believe it! when it was a sudden death. Denial might be part of the process, but that’s more likely when the death is unexpected or a surprise. And it doesn’t last long.

    The other one that doesn’t always ring true with my experience, especially when the lost loved one is elderly or suffered for a long time with a terminal disease, is anger. Take the case of Kathleen, a woman I met when her father died of complications from a stroke when he was 81. She was sad, for sure, but I saw no anger. Instead, I was touched by her compassion. He wouldn’t have wanted to live like that, she said. I’m glad he’s not suffering any longer.

    On the other hand, when the death is the result of an accident that seemed preventable, there’s often initial anger with whatever might have caused the tragedy. I sometimes see anger, too, when death is caused by suicide. Those left behind might be angry with the deceased for leaving them that way. So while anger can certainly be an early emotion when you’ve lost a loved one, it isn’t guaranteed.

    I haven’t seen much bargaining, either. You can see how this might apply to a terminal illness diagnosis, but when someone you care about has died, there’s nothing to bargain with or for. When someone is told they have an incurable disease, it’s easy to see how they might talk about the prospect of making different or healthier choices to turn things around – that’s a form of bargaining. Who among us wouldn’t think like that? It’s different with death, though, and most of us know that too well.

    Depression can definitely be part of the grief process for some, but not for all.

    Acceptance, the counterpoint to denial, happens quickly, even when you’re reluctant to believe what has happened. You might not like it, but you know that you have to accept it. I wouldn’t call it a stage – it’s more of a state of mind.

    Some people, particularly those who have never experienced grief and loss, also think that the grieving process is linear – that you move through stages and emotions one by one and always in the same order. Nope. Perhaps the fact that it isn’t linear is what makes it so hard, actually. Instead of starting first with denial and then moving along to anger, what you’re more likely to experience is a range of emotions that can vary almost hour to hour. One moment you feel like you have your act together, the next, you have an emotional meltdown. Knowing this now will help you cope if it happens. You’ll know that this is normal, natural, and typical.

    There’s also no set timeframe for grief. You might start feeling better sooner than you expected, but it might also take longer than you thought it would. Try not to have any expectations about how long it will or won’t take. That will make it easier for you to accept and process what you’re feeling in the moment you’re feeling it.

    Physical and emotional symptoms

    What are the realities, then? What can you expect to experience? As you might be seeing already, symptoms of grief can be both physical and emotional. Some might be fleeting; others might last for a while. One woman told me that after her

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