Coping with Grief – Death of a Loved One

Though it is unexpected and heart-breaking, some of us have to face death of our nearest and dearest one at some point of our life. And when it comes, it comes like a hurricane that turns our lives upside down. It isn’t a situation that we face every day in our life. We all have to face death one day and it is one of the harshest realities of the world. Yet we don’t want to see our loved ones leave us forever in our lifetime.

People spend a lot of night wishing they could change it back. We wish that it was just a bad dream that we will wake up form. Some may find the pain so unbearable that they wish they were dead themselves before their loved ones. Everyone knows that world does not stop for any one and it will go on with or without us. Yet we don’t want to be part of a world where our dear ones are no more.

Grief is a natural response when we lose someone. The intensity and time of grieving vary from person to person. People who are emotional suffer more pain than others. Introvert people have to bear more pain as they do not share their feeling with others. The stronger the bond, the deeper we love that person, the greater the pain.

One out of ten people suffer from prolonged grief disorder (PGD), also referred as complicated grief disorder (CGD), where grief does not resolve naturally and persists indefinitely. The affected person becomes incapacitated by grief and ruminates about the death, feeling unsure how they can have a meaningful life without the deceased person. The griever may find the life dull, meaningless and is often unable to adjust to life without the loved one. Professional help may be necessary if the feeling stays same for more than six months after the death.

When a person feels guilty about the death or feels that negligence from his or her part may have contributed to the death –the feeling of bitterness is even more severe. The guilt lead to deep depression, alcohol abuse, self-ignoring or self-harming activity or even suicide. Grievers often withdraw themselves from social activities which make the feeling worse.

Things to do that will make you feel better

It is not possible to simply through away our feeling, quickly forget and return to normality without our beloved one. Everyone reacts differently and there is no right or wrong way, no standard period for grieving. But there are some active measures that you may take to feel yourself little better and help you to move on with your life. Like Lena Horne said “It’s not the load that breaks you down; it’s the way you carry it.” We have to carry our pain and go on with that, but not falling apart.

Take your time

Give yourself enough time. There is no standard time to say how long a person should grieve. They say “time heals all wounds” which is not very true. Time actually teaches us to live with the pain, accommodate our life accepting the very fact. Do not try to suppress your emotion. Crying is very natural response although some may too shocked even for crying.

In most cases the pain seems ease up as time goes by and we move on accepting the reality. It may take years to ease up the pain when the person is very close to you. Being patient is important to deal with such intense type of grief to let it recover naturally. Memories fade away to a point and for most people this human trait helps to ease up the pain.

Do not stop yourself from sharing your feeling

You can share your feeling with people who are closer to your loved ones or people who are compassionate, caring and supportive. Like other members of family, relatives, friends, neighbors. May be others are silent because they might not want to hurt you by reminding or intervene your privacy - but you can break the silence. Unless you give them permission, others who are willing, may not feel comfortable to come for your support.

Offer your support to other loved ones who are also grieving specially younger one or who may suffer more than you. So if you don’t feel to share its ok but consider that sharing the memories of your loved one with other do not mean you are weak. Not everything cold – share some good memories also.

Make a constructive continuing bond with the deceased person

There might be many people who would ask you to ‘let go’ or ‘say goodbye’ or ‘move on and look forward’. But contrary to popular belief you can keep your loved one alive in your memory and in your work.

According to Robert A. Neimeyer, a professor of clinical psychology who suggests that griever can make a constructive continuing bond with a deceased person. You can accomplished this by remembering the good times, setting up an internal dialogue with your lost loved one, continue to think how your loved one would do or react on your current life events on a regular basis.

If possible fulfill any wish, continue any hobby, and finish any unfinished work that is left by your dear one. Consider some positive things that your loved one ones to see in you. It may seem painful in the immediate aftermath of the death and some time may be needed, but after you start doing it you will feel that your loved one never left you fully.

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