Death and Losing Loved Ones
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How did he/she cope with the death of loved ones? Use this Topic to focus on his/her experiences with and feelings about death. A variety of writing ideas show how his/her views changed over the course of his/her life.
- What was his/her or her name? What was this person's relationship to him?
- What were his/her first thoughts when he/she heard about the death? Was he/she numb, outraged, pained? Did his/her thoughts or feelings have anything to do with the cause of death ?
- How did he/she cope with the death? Did he/she go through a time of denial or isolation? In what ways did he/she deny the death? At what point did he/she stop denying the death? Did the denial stop due to an event or person?
- Was anyone there to support and comfort him? Who was that person? In what ways did they make the healing process easier?
- Was he/she angry after the death? Some say "when people can no longer deny the truth anger often follows." Did he/she experience this? Did he/she lash out at anyone in particular?
- If he/she was angry, how did he/she express it? When did his/her anger start subsiding? Was there a cause or was it a case of "time healing all wounds"?
- In what ways did the death of the person significantly affect his/her life? If the person was a parent, child or spouse, how did it affect his/her life to be without him or her?
- Was the death difficult to discuss or think about? If so, what about the death made it difficult to discuss? The circumstances of it? his/her feelings towards the deceased? Were family members or friends open to talking about the death, or did people keep their feelings to themselves?
- Was the death unexpected? How did the person die? If it was sudden, was it harder to accept than if he/she had been prepared for it?
- Did he/she have any unresolved issues in the relationship? Things he/she wished that he/she had said or done before they were gone? How did he/she cope with that? How did he/she find resolution? Did he/she talk with others, cry, or maybe yell?
- Were there things he/she wished that he/she had said or done before they were gone? How did he/she cope with that? How did he/she find resolution? Did he/she talk with others, cry, or maybe yell?
- Did the death of this person make him think more about his/her own mortality? What were his/her feelings about it?
- Was he/she involved in the funeral arrangements? Was there anything particularly memorable about the funeral? Were all the family members there? Was anyone missing?
- Who did the eulogy? Was it a significant part of the funeral ceremony? Did he/she feel it was accurate? Was there anything that wasn't said that should have been?
- Was there a casket at the funeral? If so, was it open or closed? Did it make it easier or more difficult at the funeral if he/she could see the remains?
- Was there a reading of the will? Who attended? Did he/she inherit anything? Was it worth more in sentimental value than monetary value?
Did someone close to him die during his/her childhood or teenage years?
- Suicide is one of the largest causes of deaths among teenagers. Was this an issue when he/she was a teen? Did anyone at school die? Was the death of this person related to suicide?
Did someone close to him/her die due to illness?
- Did the person have an illness or disease? Was the person terminally ill? Did he/she understand exactly what the illness was? When did he/she realize the seriousness of it?
- How long did the person live with the illness? What were his/her feelings when he/she heard the diagnosis?
- Did he/she feel prepared for the death? Did he/she say good-bye to the person? How did it make him feel?
- Did he/she have mixed feelings about their death? Relief that it was over and pain as he/she tried to adjust to the loss?
- Was he/she the primary caregiver of someone? How did it affect his/her lifestyle? Were there any treatments involved with the illness? How did they affect him? Did he/she have a support system, family or friends that helped him to cope?