It seems that lost is a commonplace when you have loved it can either be related or the lost of a loved one that has past on. I have never known the true pain and sorrow of losing someone I have loved my entire life a person I have looked up to adored and cherished to have that person snatched away from me felt like someone had ripped out my heart while I’m still standing not realizing what had happened how did I reach here, I was missing a part of me a part that I have carried my whole life, I felt empty.
I recently lost my mother to a severe stroke and other complications, life had finally shown me what its made of. Although I know that dying according to many is a part of living, its God’s will, we are left here to pick up the pieces an move on. With all the pain I felt I even felt angry at times wondering how my mother could leave me and she knew how much she meant to me. That’s a bit selfish as people might say but the fact remains that I would have loved to have my mother here with me forever. I have begun to accept it bit by bit very very very small steps I must say I have had my moments of frustration knowing that I will not see her anymore and it pains me so much. In the past when a friend, coworker or other family members speak of their lost, I would simply say dying is a part of living and offer my condolences, I could have never fully understood their pain and sorrow. But when it happens to me it’s another thing, emotions began to pour, sometimes you feel like you’re losing your mind.
Coping with the loss of a loved one is a process that should be done naturally you should never let anyone tell you what you should or should not feel, find your way and the best way you know how to cope with that loss it is your journey and no one else should dictate this process.
Today I share some important tips in learning how to cope with the loss of a loved one whether it be a spouse, a sibling or a parent we all after a loss need time to heal:
ALLOW THE FEELINGS Coping with the loss of a loved one brings up almost every emotion imaginable. There are times when more than one emotion seems to take hold at once, and you’re “going crazy.” It’s natural to feel this way, as it’s normal to experience a number of different feelings. In this aspect I did feel I was losing my mind from hearing my mother’s voice, I blamed my brothers, I blamed the hospital the doctors the nursing staff, I was so stricken with grief and believe it or not I was even upset with my mother for leaving me after I told her at the hospital that when she got out I would take care of her and get her to better she just needed to be strong for me and we can do it together and yet the day after she passed away I was overwhelmed with grief and abandonment. May I add that I am a grown woman yet I felt abandoned by my mother’s passing, although I know these feeling are natural we are all human and the grieving process is fundamental to the healing process. We need to gently remind ourselves in our time of bereavement and grief that our feelings are ours, and they are as well within the norm. Its an important to our process to understand that there is no “right” or “wrong” when it comes to our feelings about losing a loved one.
GATHER SUPPORT while there may be times as you are coping with loss when you’ll wish to be alone, it’s important to gather a support group around you for those times when you might need them. Friends, family, a minister or rabbi, and perhaps a therapist are all people who can and should be accessed during your grief process. These individuals can be a source of emotional support as well as physical needs if required. the death of a loved one often leaves a large hole in the life of the survivor that can be, at least temporarily, occupied by a support team. I cannot stress enough how important this step is, fortunately, my mother’s family was the support they stuck with us from the day my mother fell ill and they continue to be there with us every single day, I can say that they have provided strength for me to cope with the loss, you can’t do it by yourself no matter how strong you think you are, we all need someone in our time of grief.
ALLOW THE GRIEVING PROCESS Bereavement and grief is a process. It’s important to know that every person has their own way of coping with loss. You cannot put a time limit on your grief. You must allow yourself to experience the stages of grief as they come up. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, in her book, On Death and Dying, outlined five stages of grief. Each stage is unique and is not necessarily experienced in order. Stages may also be revisited. These stages are:
Denial: Your experience is incomprehensible, initially. You find it impossible to believe the loss of your loved one is real, and you may be numb from the experience. When my mother every day I looked at her bed with hopes that I could still see her laying there.
Anger: As the truth of the situation begins to take hold, it’s normal to feel anger and rage. This anger may be directed at yourself, the loved one for leaving you, doctors for not healing your loved one or even at God. For me, I blamed the doctors for being negligent on previous occasions, maybe she would have been alive today.
Bargaining: It’s not unusual for survivors to cope with loss by trying to negotiate, usually with their higher power. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself trying to make an “if only” deal with God.
Depression: The overwhelming sadness you feel is normal, and in most cases will not last forever. It’s common to feel as if life will never be the same. To be honest, I cried for weeks every single day, the pain I felt was unbearable. Sometimes I relived my mother’ passing every day in my mind. This is a normal part of the grieving process, let it pass naturally.
Acceptance: While this final stage of bereavement and grief is called “acceptance,” this refers to coming to terms with the finality of the loss and moving forward with your life. It does not mean that, from time to time, you may not revisit some of the stages listed above, but rather than the pain of your loss will become more manageable.
EMBRACE LIFE Author David K. Switzer talks about the need to rediscover one’s own life in his book Dynamics of Grief: Its Source, Pain, and Healing. While the pain of your loss is real and must be felt, there will come a time when you must begin to live your own life again. By working through overcoming the death of a loved one, you will come to a place of accepting death as a reality. You will find yourself able to move forward and embrace your life without your loved one by your side. Your process through bereavement and grief are your own. Everyone responds differently to coping with loss. Above all, be kind to yourself and know that you will wake one day and find the pain is less, and life can go on.