Coping With The Death Of A Loved One
Coping With The Death Of A Loved One When a loved one dies, those left to mourn, or survivors, often find themselves entangled in a complex web of emotions and reactions. The death of a loved one can be an overwhelming, frightening and painful experience. The psychological, social and physical effects of loss are expressed through grief. How individuals grieve depends on many factors: the care support system the circumstances of the death the response by family members and friends the criminal justice system (if related to unlawful death) the nature of the relationship with the deceased the religious or cultural beliefs and customs the individuals coping skills No two people will grieve in the same way. However, survivors often find it helpful to speak with others experiencing loss, as there are common reactions and experiences that may prove useful to share. Possible Grief Reactions:
Denial Often after learning of the death of a loved one, especially a sudden death, survivors experience a feeling of shock, numbness and disbelief that their loved one is gone. To be confronted by the death of a loved one is so horrible, devastating and absolute that many individuals are unable to comprehend the overwhelming news. Therefore, in order to process the shock, many survivors will immediately disbelieve that a loved one has died. Denial is a coping mechanism and a normal and functional grief reaction. Anger As the reality of facing life without a loved one sets in, many survivors feel frustrated, cheated and abandoned. Those left to grieve may become angry at their loved one for leaving them; at the doctors who should have done more; at other family members for not having the same feelings; and, in a case of death as a result of a violent crime, at the person or persons responsible for the crime, as well as the entire criminal justice system. Guilt Survivors may encounter intense feelings of guilt after someone they love has died. The guilt may come out of unresolved conflicts with the deceased, or through thinking they could have somehow prevented the death of their loved one. While guilt is a normal grief reaction, most often factors outside a survivor's control cause death. Therefore, it may help to process feelings of guilt to speak with individuals who knew the loved one, as well as the circumstances of the death, so that they may help the survivor realistically evaluate feelings of guilt and responsibility. Other Common Grief Reactions Include: Feelings of powerlessness Numbness Hypersensitivity Hyper-vigilance Overwhelming sense of loss and sorrow Disruptive sleep patterns Inability to concentrate Lethargy Fear and vulnerability Confusion Social withdrawal Change in eating habits Restricted ability to express emotion Questioning of faith Physical and financial problems Constant thoughts about the circumstances of the death. Sudden Death If you are dealing with the sudden death of a loved one, it is likely that you will experience several different emotional responses. It can affect your psychological and physical well-being. While there is no one way to make bereavement easier, there are some measures you can take to help you get through it without causing lasting damage to other areas of your life. There is often a misguided notion that grief is a process that allows a final working through of a loss. Any significant loss repeatedly brings up longing and sadness. SME therapists boldly claim that some people do not possess the ability to achieve closure by traversing prescribed stages of mourning or because they have not "worked through the loss". This may not be the case. It's because "you never get over loss". As time passes, the intensity of feelings about the loss will lessen, you might also find ways to sooth or distract yourself, or you can partially bury grief-related feelings by creating new memories. But you're not going to get over it because that's impossible: you cannot erase emotional memory. Besides, it's not about achieving closure. Instead you have to figure out what you are going to do when your emotional memories are later triggered. Grief Spasms Emotions that have to do with loss are triggered throughout our lives. Usually they are in the form of anniversary reactions, such as the birthday or death day of the lost loved one or any significant holiday in which you might want to be with the person who is gone. Reminders, such as visiting a place you've been with the person you lost, will trigger a similar response. Episodes of depression or anxiety that seem to come from nowhere may have been activated by anniversary reactions or situation-matching reactions. External reminders may trigger the emotions of grief, such as an anniversary or visiting places significant to memory of a loved one. Because grief is an emotion that sends a vague alert to help you to remember, rather than to forget. Even so, what most people do with grief is attempt to forget--to get over it--which is quite contrary to the purpose of the emotion. Rather than try to forget, one must attempt to remember and accept what the emotion is trying to convey. There are many ways to remember. You can remember what you learnt from the person you lost, remember what you enjoyed, and you can cry if you feel like crying. Even if your grief is about a relationship gone bad, there is always something that you can learn through recollection. Know What To Expect Emotions that are commonly felt during the grieving process include anger, sadness, disbelief, guilt and shock. Remaining aware of these responses to grief can help you manage your own symptoms and can help you console others. It is also important that you accept both the actual loss and the associated feelings. Talk To Someone For some people who are dealing with the loss of a loved one, it may help to be around family or friends. Talking with others who are also experiencing the loss may help you come to terms with what happened; it can additionally provide an outlet for sharing memories of the deceased. This is also a good way to receive and provide emotional support in the aftermath of a death. If friends or family members are not available to you, it may be helpful to join a support group or to see a grief counsellor. Consider The Children While dealing with your own grief, you will also need to help your children cope with the loss. How a child handles the death of a loved one can be affected by such things as developmental stage, how you cope with the loss, family stability and how the child is cared for afterwards. To help your child, you can explain death in an age-appropriate way that facilitates understanding, let the child know it is all right to show emotion, talk about the deceased with your child and allow the child to take part in rituals of mourning. How To Assist Someone Who Is Grieving Ask What Can Be Done To Help Someone who has experienced the loss of a loved one may need assistance with daily tasks, but may be unable to ask. Offer to help with logistical tasks such as phone calls to funeral directors, acquaintances, and credit card companies, or offer to babysit young children or care for pets. Listen Without Making Any Judgements Survivors may need to periodically speak with someone about what they are experiencing and feeling. It may be helpful to be available to a survivor to talk not only immediately after the loss, but occasionally thereafter, and especially on significant dates and holidays. Provide Information And Support Find out if there are appropriate and available support groups in the survivor's area. If the criminal justice system is involved, investigate services available to survivors through the system and the appropriate person(s) to call for further information and assistance. If there are legal issues, offer to call prospective attorneys. Acknowledge Feelings Of Loss Though emotions may be difficult, it is important for survivors to work through feelings of sorrow, anger, guilt, and other demonstrations of loss, and not be afraid to express them. Expressive outlets, such as conversations with others, drawing or writing, may prove helpful in articulating and coping with feelings of loss. Survivors should be patient with themselves. The grieving process takes time, and feelings of loss may not diminish quickly or easily. Be Patient With Others Many people, though well-meaning, can say inappropriate things to those who grieve. Most often people simply do not know what to say, and want to help, not hurt. An inappropriate remark may be an imperfect but well-intentioned expression of caring. Recognise Limits At first, survivors should expect to feel a multitude of emotions that may make it hard to cope with everyday tasks. If possible, survivors should seek to engage a strong support system, asking others to assist in the grieving process or to take over tasks that may prove too difficult or painful. Survivors may also want to have regular checkups with a physician in order to monitor possible stress-related physical ailments. Death Is Simply A Passing Over Every social culture and religious belief has a notion of what death really is. You may have your own person belief. Contemplating and discussing your beliefs will assist you with a better understanding and sense of release that your loved one's spirit is now in a vibrational state of peace. We are all spiritual beings deriving from source to experience life in the third dimensional state of matter. We all have a lifespan to experience birth and death many times over. Support Groups In adjusting to their lives after the loss of a loved one, many survivors find it helpful to share their feelings with others who are in similar circumstances. Many communities have support groups established through hospitals, churches or social service agencies that lend an atmosphere of support and empathy, which may normalise a survivor's reactions. Counselling Counselling with a professional therapist may be an option as well, for assistance and guidance through the grieving process. To maximise benefits from counselling, survivors should look for counsellors experienced in dealing with grief issues. If a death is a result of a violent crime, survivors may be able to receive reimbursement or direct payment for counselling expenses through their state's crime victims' compensation. Conclusion The grief process is often characterised as work because it is laborious and difficult. There is no timetable for grieving and everyone will manage the loss of a loved one differently. Loss forces survivors to readjust their lives in order to compensate and cope. Grief can be a long, painful process, but can be managed with assistance from friends, family members, or outside support. Survivors need to engage others in the grief process if possible, as doing so may assist them in attempting to reconstruct their lives after loss.
Michael J Robey Psychic Medium | Psychic Investigator Psychic.gr www.psychic.gr