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The Importance of Dealing with Loss


Bereavement Relief

Posted On: Oct 08, 2014

dealing with loss lady

The first raw emotions one feels when dealing with loss can be overwhelming. This is why the first stage of loss is in many cases is denial. Not wanting to accept the reality of the situation is completely normal. In fact, denial is somewhat of a defensive emotional response because in most cases, the person isn’t mentally prepared to accept such devastating news all at once. Allowing yourself time to process the loss lets you come to grips with the reality and deal with it when you’re ready. You might also feel feelings of anger and depression when grappling with your grief. These are all normal. What is important is that you deal with the grief head-on and don’t try to ignore it.

                Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can get rid of the pain by ignoring it. Pushing your pain down and trying to keep it from materializing later will only guarantee that you have bigger problems to deal with in the future.  Similarly, trying to put on a brave face for the benefit of other family members isn’t helpful to your grieving or the grieving of your family. Feeling frightened, sad, and vulnerable is a completely normal reaction to a loss of a loved one. Your family members seeing you exhibit these feelings is also a validation for their own similar feelings. Don’t be afraid to show emotion—it will make you stronger in the end.

                Instead of suppressing your feelings, look for an activity to let them out in a productive way. Find a creative outlet that will afford you the opportunity to express your grief in a way that is meaningful and tangible. Writing is always a good way to get a grasp on your feelings. If you don’t already write in a journal, you can start now. Or you might want to write a letter to the lost loved one. Don’t hold back. Write whatever you feel like writing. Sometimes grieving people develop feelings of anger toward the deceased person for leaving them. If you have these feelings, write through them. Don’t feel guilty about what you feel and don’t try to censor yourself.

                Don’t try to follow anyone else’s plan for grieving. Some people like to say that grief lasts for a year after the person has died. This is kind of a silly rule, when you think about it. Does one grieve a year for a grandparent the same way they grieve a year for a spouse? It’s impossible to take into account all types of relationships and other variables when discussing someone else’s grief, so the best idea is to plan on not knowing how you’re going to feel next. You might be numb in the beginning and unable to cry, only to find that a memory of the person sends you to tears a day or a week later.

                Take your own path to accepting loss, but be vigilant of signs of serious depression. Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, or thoughts of suicide should be addressed right away with a grief counselor.