Learning how to cope with the loss of a loved one.
First, what is grief? It is a period of anguish felt after losing something or someone. Grief is something that is inevitable, we are all going to share in the grief process sooner or later in life, there is no way of escaping it. Individuals grieve in different ways and different amounts of time. There is no magic wand to wave and remove the grief, or no formula to use in grieving to lessen the loss or hurry the process along. It is a natural part of life and we need to grieve in a healthy way. When we are faced with a tragedy it may seem as though that our grief will never end, but honestly, it does get easier as time goes by. We grieve over many different things in life such as: a divorce/separation, loss of a loved one, loss of a pet, loss of employment, or loss of income to name a few. According to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her book, "On Death and Dying", there are five stages of grief. The five stages are as follows: 1.Denial and isolation, 2. Anger, 3. Bargaining, 4. Depression, 5. Acceptance. Everyone will go through these different stages of grieving, but that does not mean that we will go through all of them or in that order. It is perfectly normal to grieve, but sometimes an individual may need help in the process of grief. They may need to talk to a close friend or relative or a Pastor. They may need a professional such as a Counselor or Psychologist. Sometimes an individual may need to be medicated for a period of time just to be able to cope in the real world. In some instances people feel that they are not able to deal with the pain of grief and they turn to some type of addiction in order to cope. This is not the way to deal with the grief that they are feeling, but they are hurting so terribly that they are not able to think straight. It is when people are thinking right that they make bad decissions.
Grief or heartache is a typical and expected emotional reaction to the loss of someone loved. Some describe grief as heartache, anguish, misery and woe. Contrary to some beliefs, grief itself is not a medical condition. Grief characterizes an end to what was once a very familiar part of us. When we try to grasp someone or something that we once held, only to realize it is no longer available, we experience the feeling of grief. Grief is the sad feeling knowing you will never again hold your dad's hand. Or the mental anguish that is so present in your mind over the death of a spouse. Grief is a noun, it is the name of the hurt that you experience when something you love is taken away. When Sarah died, Abraham came to mourn and weep for her (Genesis 23:2). That word "mourn" is a more proper name for grief. In Abraham's case, to mourn was to weep and wail over a death of a person you loved. To be grieved by a loss is shown by weeping. It is not a disease or condition of medical problem, however it can cause serious medical problems if not practiced properly.
There so many different ways a person can grieve. To say one must do it like another person is wrong. Some cry uncontrollably while others may simply pine away in a dark room. For some the process may take a month, while another person may grieve for years. Different personalities of people take different amounts of time to grieve. It has been said by many people that there are 5 different ways we grieve. First there are the NOMADS. They are noted for being controlled by their emotions, as changing as that is. They are not sure what to do next and at times deny their loss or become very angry over it. Secondly there are the MEMORIALISTS that fix little personal shrines to the memory of their loved ones. They do this to create a memory, probably afraid they will allow one day to slip by without a thought of them. Thirdly, the NORMALIZERS try to create or re-create an emphasis on their family and friends. Perhaps in doing so demonstrates just how important they were. The fourth one is The ACTIVISTS go the extra mile in supporting others that were close to or afflicted by the same things of the lost one in their life. They may volunteer at a nursing home that took care of their loved one. Maybe they will enter a 5K run for cancer awareness because that disease is what took a loved one from them. And then # 5, the SEEKERS who reach outwardly to find the reasons of the loss and anguish. They might join the same church as the loved one or adopt the same belief.
Though there be many avenues of grieving, it is important to search for a healthy way to grieve. An On-Line site that offers sound advice about grieving can be found at HelpGuide.org. On this sight they list some good advice about a good and healthy way to go through the process of grief. You may need to find some good support in your ordeal. Seek out friends and family that you can lean on and express your feelings to. It is "good grief" to express your feelings during this time. When you talk about it, the burden seems to get easier. Get comfort and support from your faith. Search through the bible for scriptures pertaining to loss and grief. Spend time attending services to renew your strength and freshen your mind. Meditate and pray asking God for Grace and Mercy for the battle you are facing. Search for local bereavement support groups and attend for support and understanding of like-minded people. If necessary, visit a counselor or therapist for help in dealing with your loss. Be sure to face your feelings, the sooner you acknowledge and accept your difficult experience, the sooner to a healing. While you are grieving, do not neglect your physical health. Keep doctor appointments, rest as much as possible, eat healthy and stay active. Though there be some who will try to tell you how you should feel, or how long it should take you to get over this, very politely nod and remind yourself this is your ordeal, not theirs. No one can tell you how or what you should be feeling. Do not judge yourself by someone else's experiences.
The things we grieve over can be anything such as a pet dying to a loved one dying. Grief can come from a child leaving for the military to a separation or divorce. grief can also come by a spouse becoming very ill or critical and you're not sure as to whether or not they will return home. As in my experiences, not only family members, but even the death of Church family can cause great pain.
There are also five stages of grieving, along with the 5 ways. Denial comes first with the shock of dis-belief. It can't be true you may say, or I'm just dreaming and it will be gone when I wake up. You may tell everyone that you are ok and you will be fine. Then there is anger. Maybe at the loved one for dying. Perhaps blaming everything that had a hand in it, such as a hospital or doctor. "I'll sue them" you may think. Then there is the trading game, the bargaining. You may cry out to God with a deal. "I'll do this or that forever, IF you'll only bring them back". Depression may set in and make you feel like there is no reason to go on. One of the signs of this depression is silence or spending most of your time crying. Then finally acceptance will come. Admitting that yes, it hurts. But it will be ok. You will get better and you will go on. This too will pass. Acceptance is important for the healing process to take place.
There is no weakness or shame in seeking help from others. Seek out those you know that have already conquered good grief. Positive people can help you during this time of sadness. See your Pastor or spiritual leader for support and prayer. Usually people wait to everything else has failed, then they turn to The Lord for help. So, Go to Him first and find the comfort and support you need. The Psalmist wrote that “God is close to those who turn to Him in their brokenness” (Psalm 34:18).
When necessary, and I say with caution, "only when absolutely necessary" seek medical help in dealing with or coping with your grief. There may be times when your grief hinders your mental awareness or way of thinking and you've tried all other avenues of help. Then search for a well known Doctor who specializes in this type of treatment. This should not be a permanent treatment, only to sustain and help you move from one point in the process of grief to the next. The last thing a person needs during this time, is to become dependent on mind altering medicines.
Now I will briefly mention the negative methods of dealing with grief. Way to often individuals get trapped in idea that if they can drown their sorrows in drugs or alcohol, they will be ok. This is not a healthy approach to move through the process of grief. Covering a problem up never does away with it. It will stick its ugly head out as soon as the high you're on goes away. Always seek help through The Lord.
By: tiger 2014