The Challenges of Grief When Settling An Estate

Written by

Hannah Mason

Grief is a part of life that will inevitably touch all of us, yet is widely misunderstood in practical and holistic applications.

It is no secret that the impact of a loved one’s death is immense and life changing. In fact, “death of a loved one” sits as number one on the list of life stressor events. The aftermath of loss is often unbearable and challenging beyond words could ever fully express. Yet, every human on our planet will experience a loss at one point or another. 

Given that this is a universal experience, the expectations put on grieving or bereaved people are unrealistic. Recent research has shown more evidence that those navigating acute grief, in the year or two after a death, are not operating at their “normal” capacity. They are changed.

When we examine the effects of grief on a physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual level, we can better understand the support that bereaved individuals or families are needing and deserve. When we consider that a bereaved individual is often navigating the settling of an estate and end of life administration, it is essential to consider the state of mind they are in: How their body is affected, how differently their mind operates, and what support can ease their challenges. 

A variety of studies have identified changes in the acute grief period just after a death including, but not limited to:

  • Increase in cortisol levels (Buckley et al., 2012)
  • Difficulty concentration and emotional numbness (O’Connor, 2019)
  • Changes in immune cells and an increase in inflammation (Knowles et al., 2019)
  • Increased intensity or frequency of sadness, anger, and/or anxiety (O’Connor, 2019)

When we culminate all of these potential physical and psychological responses, it makes sense why small tasks can feel so daunting, why memory feels fleeting, or why it is simply hard to get things done! While all people deal with loss differently, there are significant commonalities occurring in the body and brain that put a strain on someone’s ability to know their next steps and feel capable in getting them done. 

How Cadence caters to the grieving mind

With full awareness of a bereaved individual or family, Cadence provides the clarity, guidance and structure to take care of next steps in a timely manner. 

The Roadmap within the software lays out a game plan, or a strategy, so that:

  • anxiety is eased,
  • a step-by-step personalized process is in place,
  • everything is organized in one place, and
  • less research and time is required to understand what to do. 

Using a tool like Cadence alleviates stress from the bereaved. Individuals are able to keep track of everything while being supported by a grief-informed and estate savvy customer care team. The two aspects of the service, the roadmap and customer support, culminate to answer questions and provide compassionate support during an emotionally and physically taxing time. 

The result? Individuals who use Cadence are able to navigate the process of estate settlement up to 80% faster, and do it without the feeling of being alone. A sense of community and empowerment are critical components of supporting the bereaved. The comprehensive and personalized digital task list that can be checked off helps to evoke a sense of relief and control in a very new and uncertain time. Ultimately, Cadence returns time to those valuable first months of loss for what really matters: grieving, healing, and adjusting to the infamous “new normal.”

As we continue to learn more about the impact of grief, we can better know how to support one another as a collective humanity. We can find patience, kinder words, and connect to the deep understanding that grief changes people from the inside out. Every individual should be acknowledged in their bereavement journey, and the more we can automate and simplify all the “must do’s,” we leave more time for the “want to’s.” 

Clearing space for grief processing is the end goal. Managing the tasks and logistics of end of life through the utilization of technology is an obvious piece of the puzzle in the 21st century. Make time for what matters, slow down, and feel supported. Every human deserves this level of care.

References: O'Connor MF. Grief: A Brief History of Research on How Body, Mind, and Brain Adapt. Psychosom Med. 2019 Oct;81(8):731-738. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000717. PMID: 31180982; PMCID: PMC6844541. Buckley T, Sunari D, Marshall A, Bartrop R, McKinley S, Tofler G. Physiological correlates of bereavement and the impact of bereavement interventions. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2012 Jun;14(2):129-39. doi: 10.31887/DCNS.2012.14.2/tbuckley. PMID: 22754285; PMCID: PMC3384441. Knowles, Lindsey M. MA; Ruiz, John M. PhD; O'Connor, Mary-Frances PhD. A Systematic Review of the Association Between Bereavement and Biomarkers of Immune Function. Psychosomatic Medicine: June 2019 - Volume 81 - Issue 5 - p 415-433 doi: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000693