Are You Or Someone You Know Grieving From The Loss Of A Loved One?

Mourning the loss of a loved one can be very, very stressful! Stress enters our lives through many forms, but the stress we feel after losing someone close to us hits us much harder than any other form and can take its toll if not dealt with appropriately. Grief is an emotion, the deep sense of loss and pain we feel inside. There is no “right or wrong” way to act when you’re experiencing grief because we all react differently. However, some reactions are extremely common and are almost expected of us.

First, for example, there is sometimes shock, or stunned disbelief. We can experience shock even when death is expected. Usually this stage is short-lived, lasting only a few hours or days.

At some point, we can begin to feel overwhelmed with the various different emotions we're experiencing. These may include sorrow, depression, loneliness, and an intense longing for our lost loved one. At first there is value in expressing these emotions, but such catharsis expressions are only part of the process. It is imperative that we go through the mourning process. Mourning is an important step in which we think back to our past days spent with the deceased, thinking about all the good times as well as the bad. We begin wondering how we’ll manage without them and what to do next to get on with our lives. In doing so, we face the possibility of feeling guilty for various reasons, as well as possible episodes of anger and resentment towards the deceased, or perhaps other family members, the deceased’s doctors, and possibly even God.

The funeral can be very beneficial, especially if we, as mourners, are not afraid to cry, and we’re able to express our love and support for the survivors. Funeral services are often criticized by today’s society, blaming this service for contributing to the denial of death. Often times, however, the presentation of the deceased’s body during such a service forces us to face death as a reality.

The process of mourning may go on for many months, remembering and reliving the memories in our minds over and over many times before this process finally comes to a halt. Slowly, then we can begin to pick up the pieces and begin living life again as best as possible in view of the loved one's departure.

The most difficult times for mourners to get through are birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. Some mourners prefer to spend that time alone, but it is so important to understand that it helps tremendously to be surrounded by others who care. We shouldn’t be afraid to seek out the support and love of others to help us during these difficult times, as well as help us face the practical realities of daily living without our special loved ones.

As always, we suggest seeking professional counseling if you’re having trouble coping with your loss!

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