Ask Sam: Coping with A Loss

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Hello GlamourGals, Sam here again with another question from a volunteer! This one comes from Nicole in Ohio,

Dear Sam,

A senior I became close to at makeovers recently passed away. She was really important to me and I am sad about it. How do I deal with that?

As a volunteer, you will probably see many of the same faces at the senior home during your visits each month. However, sometimes as a volunteer you may have to deal with the loss of a senior you were very close with. Dealing with the grief from that loss can be really upsetting. Here are some tips on how to deal with it.

1.     Don’t keep your emotions in.

Trying to suppress your emotions is not healthy (even though everyone tries to sometimes). Let yourself have feelings about a senior’s death. It's okay to cry! Even though you may have only just met them, people can quickly make a big impact on your life, and losing them will be emotional. Just remember is perfectly normal to feel the way you do.

2.     Talk to someone.

It can be a friend, fellow GG volunteer, or parent, but expressing how you feel is good for you. If you are not sure who to talk to, you can always reach out to a counselor at school or your GG advisor. Expressing your thoughts to someone can help you cope and work through these difficult emotions.

3.     Write about it.

Write about how you feel, whether in a personal journal or online on It can be nice to share a story about a senior that was really important to you to help you manage what you are feeling. It can also help you to remember the good times you shared. If you’re comfortable sharing what you wrote, it can be a great way share your stories about the kind of person the senior was, the things you loved about them, or the impact they had on your life with the world.

4.     Find a way of honoring them.

Honoring a senior in some way can be a good way of coping with their death. It can be as simple as baking their favorite cookie recipe or playing their favorite song. You don’t have to do anything big to honor their memory - you can even honor them just by continuing to go to makeovers.

There are many different ways to cope. If one of these ways doesn’t work for you, don’t get discouraged! Everyone has different ways of dealing with loss. The most important thing is to make sure you deal with your feelings in a healthy way that works for you.

Remember that the senior would not want to you to dwell on their death and would want to you to continue living your life and visiting the rest of the seniors. Continue going to the senior home, giving manicures and makeovers to the women and men you visit, and make meaningful bonds with the seniors. They will be so happy you are continuing to serve your community and the rest of the seniors at the facility.

What advice would you give to a friend dealing with the loss of a senior they were close to? Let me know in a journal.

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Jessica Wallin