Coping with the Loss of a Loved One from Addiction

No matter the circumstances, losing a loved one is always difficult.

Whether it’s a spouse, family member, or friend, when someone we care about leaves us, we encounter a wide range of emotions during the grieving stages as we attempt to cope with the loss.

One particularly complicated situation for surviving family and friends arises if the loss is due to addiction.

Alcohol and substance addictions, even from prescription medications, are an ongoing problem in every community.

When one loses their battle with addiction, emotions that stem from such a loss may be mixed, or severe. But like every grieving period, there are healthy and helpful ways to cope, even if it takes a little more time.

One of the first things to remember when coping with this particular kind of loss is to be honest with yourself and others. You may experience feelings of guilt or remorse but no one person should carry the burden of blame. It is important to allow yourself and your other loved ones the proper time and path to grieve, especially if the addiction forced some strain on your relationship before the loss. Such strain may complicate your feelings of grief and coerce you into dwelling on unpleasant and unsettling memories or feelings. But this allows you an opportunity to open up and share those feelings with others – it’s not good to hold them in.

From there, as long as you allow yourself the honesty and the opportunity to express your feelings, you can move on through the different stages of grief in more wholesome ways.

Remember, too, you’re not alone.

“Grief is grief for all families, no matter how you lost your loved one,” says Janice Smallwood, co-owner and manager of Norberg Memorial Home, Inc. & Monuments in Princeton.

As with any case of mourning, your feelings will be unique to you. But if you give yourself the proper time to heal and are open with your thoughts and feelings toward friends and family, you’ll be better prepared to cope with the complicated loss from addiction.

For any questions or information, please visit or call 815-875-2425.

Norberg Memorial Home, Inc. & Monuments

701 E. Thompson St

Princeton, IL 61356