The grief of losing someone brings along with it emotional turmoil. Emotions of denial, anger, depression, regret are natural while dealing with the loss of a loved one. How to handle the death of a loved one is a question that has no definite answer. Grief is subjective, it has no definite timeline or fixed process. Although, while dealing with the loss of a loved one, there are ways to approach it in a proactive manner.
The mourning period includes the inability to focus on tasks, lack of interest in everyday life, fatigue, feeling of being burdened, vulnerability, avoidance of things that remind you of the loved one, emotional sensitivity and other such behaviours. As natural as these behaviours are, the grief has to be dealt with for anyone to be able to live on after facing the loss.
Life after the loved one has gone is never going to be the same. Acceptance of their permanent absence will be the first step towards finding a way around the life changes.
The few common changes that may occur are:
Going through a major loss comes along with changes in the behaviour of your family and friends. They may be more sympathetic, kind, helpful than they were before. Some bonds may grow strong while some become weak. The people linked to you through the deceased person may move away. While some new relationships are formed with people going through the same situation.
If you lose a parent, you may have to take on their responsibilities. Some of those tasks may be completely new to you. Fulfilling those responsibilities remind you of them and their contribution towards your life.
If you were the primary caretaker of the deceased individual, your responsibilities change and the sudden shift may cause discomfort and a gap in your everyday routine.
If the person was the primary or secondary breadwinner, the reduction of their income affects the finances. Especially, losing a spouse can cause a major shift in the finances and the management of the household. Days of struggling and adjusting are followed with a new routine.
In case of incidental death, insurance is issued for the family of the deceased. That amount may be small or big, and has to be dealt with which requires financial wisdom.
The death of someone close to you reminds you of the importance you must give to friends and family. Especially an incident where one loses his friend or peer may insist one make their loved ones a priority.
If you were the primary caretaker of the deceased individual, you will find yourself with a lot of free time that can be utilised for your own career or educational growth. They are no longer the centre of your life. Hence, you can make yourself the center of your life and work for your betterment.
Death may cause anger and bitterness in our hearts. We may question our faith and spirituality. Or lose trust in God. On the other hand, some people fall back on their faith as their safety net. Their faith gives them hope and comfort.
The trauma of losing your loved one may cause a disinterest in things that you previously enjoyed. For instance, a daughter who loved shopping with her mother may avoid shopping now because it brings back memories and triggers her emotions.
On the contrary, some people may pick up new hobbies and activities to keep themselves occupied and utilise that as their method of coping with the loss.
Many mourners assume that once their loved one is gone, they must live a life devoid of
Enjoyment, pleasure and happiness. They feel guilty enjoying life without their loved one. The goal instead should be to honour them in memories and live your life the way they would have liked to see it. For children and couples, it could mean fulfilling their parents’ or spouse’s dream in case of their death.
The quote “Time heals all wounds” proves applicable in regards to grief. Time does not take away the memories or fill the void left by your loved one, it simply eases the pain and teaches us how to live without them.
The above mentioned changes could prove to be overwhelming. There are some ways to pace those changes as you are dealing with the loss of a loved one.
- The new responsibilities can be shared amongst family members so they don’t burden only one person.
- Avoid rushing into decisions during your vulnerable phase. Ask for advice from people you trust.
- Reach out for help without hesitation regardless of the type of help. In case of emotions, reach out to a support group, a grief counsellor or any mental health professional.
- Reminiscing on the positive memories of your loved person will help adjust to their death.
- Write down your emotions as and when you feel them. Expressing your emotions gives clarity on how to deal with them.
- Seek legal or expert advice with the finances that come along as insurance after the demise of the person.
- Consulting with a psychologist and having a systematic approach towards healing is always the safest option, as a professional always has more than one customised ways and plans to help you out using different therapeutic interventions.
Apart from time, acceptance of the loss, understanding your own emotions and expressing those emotions rightly helps a great deal to overcome the pain.
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