The first thing to acknowledge is you are not alone. How are you feeling today?…
The sense of loss that comes with losing a loved one is one of the most intense emotions a human being can feel.
The emotional impact is so universal and profound that most cultures have mourning rituals – funerals, wakes and memorials – to help people deal with death and grief.
But how people respond to loss is very individual.
Grief can manifest itself in different ways, from feeling intensely sad, bereft, to feeling betrayed and angry about being left. People who are grieving can feel listless, disoriented, incapable of carrying out day-to-day tasks or be preoccupied with their loved one’s absence. Others blame themselves for not spending enough time with those they mourn, or even not doing enough to save them. Not all grief is rational, but one thing is for sure – it hurts.
There is no right way to mourn. And no formula for how grief-stricken people should feel. Losing a parent, sibling, partner, close friend or child is one of the most intense emotional experiences in a person’s life. It is completely normal to feel knocked off balance and to think about the person who has been lost all the time.
Some people can find themselves deeply upset by people they barely knew – a colleague, a distant relative, or even a public figure. People mourn deeply the loss of pets they loved.
One way of coping with the loss of a loved one is to remember the precious moments, the fun you had together and the touching things that happened. You may even laugh as you replay your memories in your mind.
Don’t feel guilty about this. The person you have lost would probably be pleased to know you are celebrating the time you spent together. They would probably hate to see you so sad.
But don’t be afraid to express how you feel, or to cry. It is a way of releasing emotions, and nothing to be ashamed of.
It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed by the sense of loss. Many people, particularly those prone to depression, can find themselves suddenly deeply depressed after the death of a parent, partner or friend.
Sharing your emotions with someone who knew the person you are grieving will go a long way to soothing an aching heart.
Talking to someone who understands, such as a therapist, can be enormously comforting. And it will help to share the qualities and achievements of the person you have lost, and the important role they played in your life.
Death is a universal part of the human experience and there will be people all around you whether at work or in your social group, who will have experienced a death of a member of the family or friend. People who have lost loved ones will relate to how grief-stricken you are feeling now.
When it comes to grief, time really is a great healer, and coping with loss tends to get easier as the months roll on. But the anniversary of a death or a birthday can be a raw reminder and a difficult time. Don’t be nervous, because the months have passed, about expressing how bereft you feel.
Mexicans commemorate the loss of their loved ones every year in a joyful public holiday. The annual Day of the Dead is a festival when people remember those who have passed on and celebrate their lives. Photos adorn people’s homes. Remembering the lives of the dead, not suppressing them, is part of Mexican culture.
Grief is an expression of the significance of a person in your life. You miss them and their loss is difficult to cope with.
Recalling the sweet moments you had together can be a soothing balm.