If you missed my latest post in my current series on grief, loss, death, and suffering (ooh...sounds less then fun, huh?), you can check it out here. I love the quote that the post is based around, so be sure to read it (at least the quote portion!).
I've experienced a number of kinds of deaths- old people, old people who are sick, young people who are sick, and young people who were perfectly healthy and fine and caught in the middle of an accident. Each brings about a different way to process grieving and death.
One thing I know I've experienced, and heard from others in the same position, is how they don't feel closure when someone dies suddenly. When someone is sick, there are a lot of good byes, final sharing of memories, taking final pictures, etc... It feels like there is some closure. However, when someone is in an accident and dies suddenly, those things don't get to happen. This can potentially make the grieving process much worse. Of course there are ways to try to find this- letter writing, reading a letter at a funeral or cemetery, or something of similar fashion. These are all good, and I would certainly encourage you to try them.
However, I'd like to share a perspective that I landed on about 5 years ago when it comes to sudden death. As we live our life with others, each interaction and conversation should be a goodbye. Think about it. When you are saying "goodbye" to someone who is very sick, you may share memories, laugh about an awkward moment, talk about how they've changed your life, discuss what they meant to you, and say "I love you." Shouldn't that be happening throughout a lot of the conversations that we have? Obviously every time I call up one of my parents or siblings I don't give them a list of ways they've changed my life. But from time to time I make sure to do that, so that, given an accident, I feel like I've said the things that are important to say. So even with an accident, if we've had a good relationship all along, we have been saying goodbye throughout our conversations.
How do you say "goodbye to others" through your conversations with them?