At some point in time, we will all experience the loss of someone we love. Who it is and when it happens are probably the only things we cannot control or know in advance. The bigger tragedy is to lose many or all of them at one go, such as in an earthquake or horrific accident. For most of us, we get through the whole experience in one piece but for many, it takes many, many years to finally come to terms with it.
One thing everybody knows and understands is that handling the death of a loved one will not be an easy task. In fact using the word “handling” in this context is quite inappropriate as it gives a feel that the situation can be won over and finished. It is certainly not so, it can be more properly denoted by using the term “dealing with” because it a long term healing process that may extend upto your entire lifetime. Only people who have already been through the experience of losing a loved one know that it is something they face every day and not just on day one to be over with.
The death of a loved one may have been anticipated or completely unexpected. Whatever the circumstances, one will have to go through these feelings. The order in which they occur will differ from person to person. They are:
– Emotional release
– Depression, loneliness or a sense of being alone
– Feelings of panic
– Anger or rage
– Acceptance as we adjust our lives to reality
The manifestation of these feelings may be displayed as:
– Bodily symptoms showing despair like fidgeting, constant anxiety, sleeplessness, nightmares, weepiness and sporadic mental disorientation.
– Normal routine activities cannot be performed.
In situations where the mourning individual has no support, extreme behaviors like antisocial hostility, suicidal or homicidal tendencies and behavior may occur. But this is not the normal way of dealing with the loss.
It is possible that any one of these emotions may be experienced more than once; feelings of anger and rage, for example, may disappear and be replaced by acceptance, only to come back again at a later stage. This is why the process of going through grief is different from one individual to another.
Emotions may also come in doubles like feelings of guilt and anger being bundled up at the same time. This is very difficult to bear and cannot be handled by the person himself. This will require efficient professional attention to deal with.
Those who have gone through such deep pain will be the first to say that the only way we can survive such strong emotions is through time and support. Having enough time to feel and process each emotion and having enough support to hold us up when we are feeling overwhelmed are the best remedies to dealing with the loss of a loved one. When it comes to support, nothing is better than emotional and physical support – emotional support like having understanding people around and physical support with friends and family providing help with the simple tasks of food and helping with the housework.
Give yourself time to adjust to the changes in your life. Getting along with daily life without your loved one nearby is never going to be a simple thing to do. The loss itself is acute distress and it is mounted with you having to tread along life without them around. Most of the mourners avoid performing daily tasks that they performed before regularly with their loved one. Few may stop doing them for always, like skipping the tea time which was fun together.
Most of the people find it intolerable and are locked in anxiety without a way out. They should go for counseling from a therapist or psychologist or psychiatrist to help them in the giant task of combating with the situation. No one should look at it as weakness but rather as a bold move towards healing and a better life.
If a person undergoing the process of mourning is subject to an acute period of flare of anger, it could lead him to express it through anti social or extreme behavior which could end up harming him or others. Such instances call for an immediate intervention of a psychologist or counselor to help the person deal with the crucial situation.
Coping with the loss of someone dear is no easy task. It is a high investment of time, energy and will that normally pays off in the end in complete healing from grief.
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