Emotional distress | Lamenting | Longing | Grief | Despair | Emotional adjustment | Adapting foundations | Disappointment | Denial | Possibility for personal growth | Adjustments with hope
We are living in violent times,the value of someone else’s life seems to have diminished to a personal need, be that of greed or anger, many of us have lost loved ones unexpectedly in tragic circumstances. We are in shock and feel numb, mostly confused. We experience a physical reaction to the loss, we feel nausea, muscle weakness, dry mouth, our whole body trembles. We are disbelieving, feel angry sometimes even guilty because we think “I should have; I could have; why didn’t I just ….”
As long as we have memory, our departed has life. We need to remember all the times spent together. We should focus on these times rather than our own loss. We should celebrate their life not get stuck on the time or the manner of death.
The hardest part is when the “drama” is over, the support group dissipates and gets on with their lives and we are left alone to cope at a time when we are at our most vulnerable, because the ‘business’ of death has been dealt with, now its our living and the adjustments that need to be made.
We have to go on with our lives, we have to make the best of our circumstances. To live in the moment and manner of death (the past) is a dangerous thing, to not go on is destructive to ones life. We can retain a connection with our loved one for a period after death, and then we have to let them go, they too have other things to do. We should mourn, we should go through the process, its healthy, but to hang on to something that was – is not healthy. By releasing the loved one you release yourself.
Grief is not an event it’s a process.
Grief is the normal response of sorrow, emotion and confusion that comes from losing someone or something important to you. It is a natural part of life. Grief is a typical reaction to death, divorce, job loss, a move away from family and friends, or loss of good health due to illness.
AS IN DEATH, GRIEF HAS 5 STAGES
- Accept your loss
- Work through the physical and emotional pain
- Reconcile your grief
- Adjust to living your life
- Move on
We all mourn at different rates. Some people are able to put death into life’s perspective and move on, but often the family will make them feel guilty that they have moved on, by either remarrying or selling a home – we deal with death in our own way, allow the individual their process.
Again it has to be in perspective. You had the gift of that life for a time, it was special and sacred, now the loved one has passed, you owe it to yourself and to them to rebuild your life. Never forget but move on.
Grief is of the soul. The soul does become attached, the soul is involved in the earthy feelings of love and life – it’s the awful pain and sadness that is grief.
How long does grief last?
Grief lasts as long as it takes you to accept and learn to live with your loss. For some people, grief lasts a few months. For others, grieving may take years. The length of time spent grieving is different for each person. There are many reasons for the differences, including personality, health, coping style, culture, family background, and life experiences. The time spent grieving also depends on your relationship with the person lost and how prepared you were for the loss.
What is mourning?
Mourning is the process of letting go by grieving for someone or something that is important in our lives. We are unable to grieve fully until we let go. We need to understand the fundamental difference between “connection” and “attachment”. Connection is a two way flowing – giving and receiving of energy, love. Attachment is a selfish act of possession and value.
We are also conditioned as to the correct period of mourning – the given is that one should mourn a partner for at least one year, the death of a child, one is supposed to never recover from. This causes problems for people who have managed to get on with their lives, they have accepted the death, they have mourned and they have chosen to continue living – they feel guilty that they are no longer mourning, and this in turn becomes destructive and debilitating. They live in a state of Bereavement.
Bereavement is the cover up for grief, it is the state of being in rage, because something that the ego thinks is ours – something that we own – has been taken away, along with the opportunities for life that we believed our loved one deserved. Bereavement is a dangerous state of being. Physiologically it changes how our bodies work. Increased pulse rate, increased blood pressure, increased output of adrenaline, epinephrine, dopamine (natural narcotic) to make us feel better, we eventually build up a tolerance, and then we never feel good about ourselves. It’s a viscous cycle.
Realise your grief is unique. Don’t compare your grief with anyone else’s.
Allow yourself to express your grief, openly and often.
Accept the loss
Gently confront the reality that your loved one will never come back into your life again.
Realise your grief is unique. Don’t compare your grief with anyone else’s. Allow yourself to express your grief, openly and often. Tears and expressing grief is not a sign of weakness. Work through and feel the physical and emotional pain of grief. Be tolerant of your physical and emotional limits, as loss may leave you fatigued. Expect to feel a multitude of emotions, as loss affects your head, heart, and spirit. Allow for numbness. This serves a valuable purpose; it gives your emotions time to catch up with what your mind already knows. Grief is something to be experienced rather than to be overcome.
Develop a support system. Find those people who encourage you to be yourself and acknowledge your feelings, both happy and sad. Embrace your spirituality. Talk with those who won’t be critical of your feelings of hurt and abandonment. Find a group, read books.
Allow a search for meaning. Healing occurs in the opportunity to pose the questions, not necessarily in answering them. Move toward and embrace your grief, and heal. Recognize that the loss of someone you love changes your life forever. Don’t try to avoid grief, it is best to move toward it, embrace it and then let it go. The goal is to reconcile the grief, not “get over” your grief. Letting go – It’s a process
When a loved one has died, holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays inevitably bring fresh memories and a re-experience of the pain of grief. The void appears again. Most importantly to me, treasure your memories. Memories are one of the best legacies that exist after someone leaves. Recognise that your memories make you laugh and cry. In either case, they are a lasting part of the relationship that you had with a very special person in your life.
The experience of grief is powerful.
So, too, is your ability to help yourself heal.
In doing the work of grieving, you are moving toward
a renewed sense of meaning and purpose in your life.