How well do you cope with death?

I’ve been thinking about this question since you posted it, and I feel like I should have at least one solid piece of survivor’s wisdom, but I’m not sure what to say. I’ve appreciated most every single post in the thread and identified with what people are saying. I’ve lost a lot of people close to me, basically my entire family, but I still don’t know how to deal with death. I think it’s just a matter of continuing to continue.

The only “words of wisdom” I can come up with are these: Family (whether blood or chosen), after they are gone they will still visit you in your dreams sometimes, so every once in a while you may feel like you can practically smell them on your pillow. That’s not a method of coping, it’s just something I’ve noticed never really goes away, even after you feel like you’ve lost all the memories of the person. The only way to keep on is one day at a time, and eventually you find yourself out of the pain that you didn’t think would ever lessen. Years ago, someone who was also close to the people I lost gave me some cold comfort by saying “Eventually, the numbness comes.” I was appalled at the time, thinking “That’s all I’ve got to look forward too? Just numbness?” You may not want it to come at first, because the pain of loss is all you have left of the person, but eventually the numbness lets you let go of that person enough so that they can fade a bit from your memory, and with the fading the pain lessens too. After that you still don’t forget them, but you’re able to bring them to mind with nostalgia, as someone else said, instead of that debilitating stab of pain to the heart. It’s funny. I’ve found myself trying to re-feel that stab in order to, I don’t know, hold onto that person’s existence. Little by little, though, the pain diminishes, and with it the reality of the person who has left you. That’s how we heal.