Loss is a unavoidable part of life. Grief is healing process and a natural part of the adjustment. It is as process because it has no easily defined beginning and end. It is a mostly unconscious natural phenomenon marked by gradual changes leading to acceptance and growth. The reasons for grief are many, such as the loss of a loved one, the loss of health, or the letting go of a long-held dream.
Dealing with a significant loss can be one of the most difficult times in a person's life. Life and loss go hand in hand. We all have many losses in our lives. Grieving is the process of healing the emotional component of these losses. Feelings of loss are very personal and you are the only one who knows what is significant to you. People commonly associate certain losses with strong feelings of grief. These can include:
DEATH OF A PARTNER OR SPOUSE.
DEATH OF A CHILD
DEATH OF A PARENT
DEATH OF A SIBLING
DEATH OF A PET
DEATH OF A FRIEND, COLLEAGUE, CLASSMATE
SUICIDE OF A LOVED ONE
SERIOUS ILLNESS, FACING PERSONAL DEATH
RELATIONSHIP ENDING BREAKUP, DIVORCE
ABORTION, MISCARRIAGE, SIDS
COLLECTIVE GRIEF, NATURAL DISASTER, ASSASSINATION, ETC. ANTICIPATED VERSUS SUDDEN LOSS
Sudden or shocking losses--due to events like crimes, accidents, suicide, or sudden heart attack--can be traumatic. There is no way to prepare. No time to say good-bye. These losses can challenge your sense of security and confidence in the predictability of life. You may experience symptoms such as sleep disturbance, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, feelings of isolation, or anxiety. Anticipated losses--like a terminal illness-may give you more time to prepare for the loss. You will have a chance to say good-bye and clean up unfinished business with the other person. The actual time of the death will still have an emotional impact, but if you have used the time prior to the death to begin to grieve for your loss, recovery after the death could be faster and easier.
DURATION OF MOURNING The duration and timing of grieving process is different for everyone. There is no predictable schedule for grief. Although it can be quite painful at times, the grieving process cannot be rushed. You may feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster for the first year or longer. You must take life one day at a time for a while. You may think you are doing fine, then suddenly you see the back of a head, or hear a voice that reminds you of your loved one. Significant dates like birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, will trigger feelings related to the loss. It is important to be patient with yourself and allow these feelings to surface. They are your unique feelings and your unique reactions to the loss. With time and support, things generally do get better. However, it is normal for sadness to return at unexpected times.
Grief makes you vulnerable and adds stress to your life. It is more important than ever to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Don't be afraid to ask for help and support. Acknowledging your feelings is important during these times in your life. On the other hand, if you have dealt with each loss as it happened in your life, you will be able to cope with the most recent loss easier and heal faster.
Losing a person you have been living with involves letting go of these daily habits and complicates the grieving process. It is important to monitor your reaction to small losses, so that when a major loss occurs in your life you will have some insight into what to expect of yourself. Knowledge is power. Know thyself!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Letting Go With Love: The Grieving Process is a self help book that deals with different types of relationship losses, including death of a spouse, death of a child, death of friends, siblings, parents and facing one's own death suicide and more. it has sold over 100,000 copies.