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FINDING HOPE IN THE MIDST OF

Military Loss

The death of a loved one is always difficult. When the death results from a war or a disaster, it can be even more distressing, given the sudden and potentially violent nature of the event. Or, your loved one could have experienced after-effects from serving in the military long after a conflict.

Surviving members of military families find themselves in a unique position from other losses in that their loved one voluntarily put themselves into harm’s way, knowing the potential for the death and injury. Serving in the military carries with it intrinsic dangers distinct to the military that family members are aware of. As such, they gain a different perspective in processing the loss. This is not to say it makes the loss any easier to bear, in fact the circumstances that surrounded the death of their loved one may even complicate the grieving process.

Self-care while grieving a
military loss

Take care of your health. Grief can be hard on your physical health. It can help to exercise regularly, eat nutritious food, and try to get enough sleep.
Take time to adjust. Go at a comfortable pace and be easy on yourself. There is no rush.

Explore available resources.  There are many local and national resources for families of military members who have died. These institutions may provide financial assistance, help to surviving spouses and children, benefits information, and connect you with other military families.

Connect with other families. From the initial distress of notification when two soldiers knock at your door, to the presentation of the American flag at the funeral service, families of the military face distinct issues. It may help you to connect with other families who have had the same experiences and know what you are going through.

See your doctor. Keep up with visits to your healthcare provider. Let your healthcare provider know if you are having trouble taking care of your everyday activities, like getting dressed or fixing meals.

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