30 Things We All Forget After Someone Dies

By Rio Dennis 8 months ago

Time and dates

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Losing someone is a deeply emotional, and often overwhelming, experience. It is common to forget certain things during the grieving process. Grief can distort your sense of time, making it difficult to remember when certain events occurred. Don't worry, this is more common than you realize.

Everyday tasks

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Simple tasks like eating, sleeping or going to work can be overlooked. Abandoning these everyday tasks may happen over a prolonged period, or it may occur immediately after the passing of a loved one. You shouldn't feel ashamed about this happening, as it is a natural part of the grieving process.


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Neglecting your own physical and emotional needs is common when grieving, and it commonly links back to the abandonment of your everyday tasks. Although self-care may not be at the top of your priorities, it is still important to take care of your basic needs.

Sympathy thank-yous

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Following the loss of a loved one, you can expect people offering their condolences to you. This can be extremely overwhelming, and it is easy to forget to express your gratitude for their condolences, and offers of help. Don't panic, there is plenty of time to thank them.

Practical arrangements

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Practical arrangements refers to funeral planning, and/or financial matters. These aspects can be overwhelming, and may be forgotten. These practical arrangements are important to sort and figure out, but ensure that you take your time doing so (this will prevent potential panic).

Legal matters

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Another aspect that is commonly ignored/forgotten, is the legal side of an individual's passing. Updating wills, handling estates and notifying the necessary authorities is another overwhelming task, but it can be made much easier with the right help and guidance.

Personal belongings

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Sorting and distributing the deceased's possessions, will (understandably) take some time to get around to. With the grieving process, it may be forgotten for an extended period of time, especially if the possessions are kept within secure storage e.g. attic, basement.

Unfinished conversations

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Any unresolved discussions or arguments can leave a sense of emptiness, especially if they were one of the last occurrences before the individual passed away. Unfinished conversations can make the grieving process more difficult, as people become reluctant to accept someone's passing.


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Cherished moments with the deceased, might fade or become less vivid. This can add to the overall upset, following someone's passing. However, there are ways in which you can improve your memory of these moments e.g. watching old videos of you and the deceased together/ looking back over old photographs.

The sound of their voice

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As time passes, you may struggle to recall the sound of their laughter and speech. This is one of the most common occurrences during the grieving process, and it has a varying effect on different people. The best way to remind yourself of the deceased's voice, is by playing old videos/voicemails that include their voice.

Personal mementos

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Personal mementos can hold a lot of sentimental value, and it is important to preserve them. Mementos can take on all shapes and sizes, and it is easy to forget to collect them. As long as the mementos are kept in a secure place, you can always preserve them later into the grieving process.

Personal habits

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It is common to miss the deceased's routines or quirks that defined them. Their personal habits probably made up a large part of their personality and character, and it is completely natural to miss these elements. These smaller characteristics can easily be forgotten, especially over a prolonged period of time.

Anniversary dates

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Special dates, like birthdays and anniversaries, can be particularly challenging to remember. As time passes, you may find that you only vaguely remember these special dates e.g. you can only remember the month. A great way of remembering these dates, is by writing them down within a diary and/or calendar.

Shared inside jokes

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Shared inside jokes are a common way of strengthening a bond, whether it is platonic or romantic. Having these jokes with friends and loved ones, is a shared experienced worldwide. These unique moments of humor can be bittersweet to remember, following the passing of a loved one.

The smell of their favorite scent

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Scent can carry an array of memories for different people, and these memories can stem from different parts of a person's life. The smell of a person's favorite perfume or cologne, is something that can easily be forgotten after their death (unless you can continue to purchase said scent).

Their touch

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The warmth of a loved one's hand, a hug or a comforting embrace are typically one of the first things that are forgotten, following their death. This aspect of the grieving process is one of the most difficult to overcome, and can still affect you after prolonged periods of time.

Regrets and apologies

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Regrets and apologies are a common source of guilt following someone's death. Many people wish for the opportunity to say what was left unsaid, and they feel as if this is not possible (now that the person is deceased). However, some individuals find other ways to 'communicate' with the deceased.

Shared experiences

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Activities or trips you may have had planned with someone can easily be forgotten, or become a great source of upset for certain people. Some individuals refuse to plan any future trips to these destinations, whereas others may visit these destinations (in order to feel closer to the deceased).

Their favorite songs/music

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Listening to a person's favorite song(s) and music, can bring back strong memories. These memories may be associated with certain songs, and can allow you to reconnect with key aspects from your past. Some of these songs may be included within the deceased's funeral as well.

Their presence

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Simply having them around, even in silence, is often taken for granted. The presence of a loved one is priceless, and many people find it (losing the presence of a loved one) the most upsetting part of the grieving process. Although their physical presence is no more, you can reinstate it slightly via hanging photographs.

Family traditions

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The way they contributed to family customs and rituals, is something that can be hugely missed. Over time, you may find that you begin to forget certain tasks/activities they carried out. This is a completely natural part of the grieving process, and it doesn't invalidate your grief in any way.

Their favorite food/drink

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A great way of reigniting certain memories of your loved one, is by preparing their favorite meals. You can also drink their favorite refreshment, and/or eat their favorite snack, especially if this is something you shared with them. Food can hold a lot of important memories.

Habits and routines

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Past habits and routines will be something you'll miss, but they can help you feel closer to your deceased loved one. This will vary for every person, and may occur within different stages of the grieving process. It could be as simple as heading to their favorite spot for morning coffee.

Grief milestones

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It is important to remember, that the intensity and process of grieving can/will vary over time. Typically, it can take a couple of months for you to come to terms with the passing of a loved one, which is part of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

How to live without them

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Adapting to life without the presence of a loved one, is a long and challenging journey. However, your grieving process is completely unique to you, and there is no right or wrong way of grieving the loss of someone. You will find a way to live without their support and companionship.

Their expressions and gestures

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A person's expressions and gestures, really add to their overall personality and characteristics, and are aspects of their being that are missed the most. You will commonly find yourself thinking back to the way they smiled, laughed and expressed themselves.

Their presence within a room

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As mentioned previously, it is common to mourn for the loss of their presence within your life. Something that is included within this mourning, is their presence within a room. For example, you may miss being able to enter a room, and connect with them properly.

Their advice and wisdom

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Their advice, wisdom, guidance and support are common things that can be forgotten, and/or mourned for. You may have feelings of helplessness, due to the existence of these conversations fading away. As you progress through your grief, you may find that certain aspects of their advice come back to you.

The feeling of closure

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Grief is often an ongoing process, with no clear endpoint. At first, this can be extremely overwhelming; leaving you with feelings of pessimism and helplessness. However, it is important to remember that everyone's grieving process is unique, and you will find coping mechanisms that work for you.

That it's okay to forget sometimes

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Grief is a personal journey, and it's normal to forget some of these things. What's important is to allow yourself the time and space to grieve, and remember things in your own way. It can also be helpful to seek support from friends, family or a therapist during this difficult time.

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