The paradox of life is that the longer we live, the more death will become a part of our lives. As we age, we will likely lose and grieve the loss of people we love. Coping with the loss of friends and family can be one of the most challenging parts of our increased longevity. Whether the loss is due to an accident, illness, or simply old age, it can feel like nothing will make it any easier. With aging comes the inevitable grieving of loved ones who have passed away. Therefore, it’s important to live, love, and mourn as fully as we can.

It may sound counter-intuitive to mourn as fully as we can. Grief is of course not a pleasant emotion and one we hope to avoid. Especially when the relationship was formed throughout a lifetime, like a sibling relationship. But it’s important to acknowledge that for some, the loss of a friend is just as painful. Next Avenue says it may even remind us of the inevitability of our own death.

In addition, deaths often come along at the same time as other types of losses in our lives. It could be retirement, kids leaving the home, or the loss of a beloved pet. Regardless, experiencing grief over a loved ones death during these times can often intensify the feelings.

Yet through it all, it’s so important to continue to move forward. Death stopped their life, but it shouldn’t stop our own. They wouldn’t want it to. We can’t stop death from occurring. But at the same time, we are not powerless over the situation. After a loss, talk about it. Try not to bottle up the feelings. Find your support system in a counselor, family member, or a good friend to confide in. If the deceased was on hospice, talk to their hospice social worker.

Grief can be such an isolating experience, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be an important wake up call to make the most of the time we have left.