Death is a part of life. We don’t always like to admit it, but it’s true.
The people in our lives probably aren’t always going to be there forever, so the question is, “How will you handle the death of someone when it happens?”
I believe that death doesn’t necessarily have to be a negative thing in our lives. Sure, it often comes with sadness and grief, but that’s human.
However, depending on how we think about the people we lost, we can often turn death into a positive experience overall.
By thinking about death in the right way, we can learn from the lives of others and let go of negative emotions, instead of clinging to our sadness and continuing to beat ourselves up over the death of someone we loved.
Here are important things we can do to help let go of lost ones in our lives and put our best foot forward.
Focus on the good times with them
We love the people we know because of all the good times we spend with them. Don’t forget about all these positive memories just because someone is no longer in your life.
Focusing on the good times allows you to continue to appreciate and be grateful for your relationships, whether they are in the past or not.
They are a reminder that your relationship with that person was ultimately one of happiness and pleasure.
If you’re really missing someone who is gone, take some time to reflect on all the good times you’ve had with them and why the relationship was worth it at the end of the day.
Remember what you learned from them
One of the many ways we carry people with us long after their death is by taking any life lessons we have learned from them.
Everyone can teach us something about life, even if they don’t directly play a role as an authority figure like a teacher or parent.
Start by recollecting on the other person’s strengths, talents, values, and accomplishments – and then use that as a form of motivation and inspiration in your own life.
There is almost no better way to continue the legacy of someone than by letting their lives have a positive influence on your own.
And in the same way their actions influence you, your actions influence others, and the cycle continues ad infinitum as a kind of “symbolic immortality.”
Celebrate their life instead of mourning their death
Instead of seeing death as a mourning of what’s been lost, think of it as a celebration of what’s been gained.
Death doesn’t define a person’s life, it is only one piece within a much bigger picture. Don’t let a person’s death undermine everything else that happened throughout that person’s life.
The death of someone is an opportunity to reflect on the course of their whole life and celebrate them as a person. If you view it like this, then it becomes a time of happiness and gratitude, rather than grief and sadness.
Find a unique way to celebrate someone’s life, whether it’s taking part in an activity you used to do with them, or hanging out with mutual friends, or just writing a song or poem in dedication to them.
This can be a great way to channel the grieving process into something more positive and productive.
Move toward future relationships
At the end of the day, someone has died but you still have a life to live of your own.
The truth is that life changes. New relationships come and go, but for every person that leaves your life there is another person waiting for you to connect with.
We can’t let any single event put our life to a halt, sometimes the best way to let go of someone is to awaken yourself to all the new opportunities that still await you and just put your best foot forward.
Life is filled with many treasures, so we shouldn’t cut ourselves off from all of that just because someone isn’t in our life anymore.
Punishing yourself for someone else’s death isn’t going to bring them back and it’s probably not going to make you feel any better either.
Pay attention to what you still have in your life and appreciate it while it lasts, that is where true happiness will come.
Discover tools to daily growth in the digital guide The Science of Self Improvement