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Dealing with Grief “The Pain of Losing Someone”

On Monday, we celebrated Memorial Day, which commemorates the sacrifices of those who have fought and died in the armed forces. As we observed this sacred day, many families will relive the trauma and grief felt after losing their loved ones. Although the holiday is a patriotic celebration to honor the lives of our fallen soldiers, it can also be a day of overwhelming emotions and great sadness for many families.

Dealing with the loss of someone you love is one of life’s biggest challenges. The pain of loss can feel heavy and most people experience all kinds of emotions, from shock or anger to guilt, fear and overwhelming sadness. The feeling of grief can disrupt your health, making it difficult to sleep, eat, or even think straight. These are completely normal reactions experienced after losing someone. You may also experience fatigue (tiredness), nausea (vomiting), unexpected sickness, weight loss or weight gain, headaches and body pains.

There is no right or wrong way to express your grief. Everyone has their own way of dealing with grief. Some people will wear their emotions on their sleeve and be outwardly emotional. Others will experience their grief more internally and may not cry. It is important not to judge how a person experiences their grief, as each person will experience it differently. Grief can also occur in response to an individual’s own terminal illness, the loss of a close relationship, divorce, or the death of a close companion be it human, or animal.

According to mental health experts, most people will experience some or all five stages of grief at some point during the grieving process. The five stages of grief are: 1. Denial and isolation: “This isn’t happening, this can’t be happening,”. 2. Anger: “Why is this happening? Who is to blame?” 3. Bargaining: “Make this not happen, if only we had got help sooner”. 4. Depression: “I’m too sad to do anything”. 5. Acceptance: “I’m at peace with what happened”.

Many people do not experience the stages of grief in the order listed which is normal. The key to understanding the stages is not to feel like you must go through every one of them, in exact order. Keep in mind that everyone grieves differently.

When we lose a spouse, sibling or parent, grief can be harder than expected. It is a natural part of life but can still be overcoming and confusing. It can even lead to long periods of extreme sadness or severe depression. Research shows that most people can recover from loss on their own as time pass if they have support and healthy life habits. It may take months or a year to come to terms with a loss, there is no “normal” time period for someone to grieve.

There are healthy ways to cope with the pain of grief that will lessen the heaviness over time. They include: Leaning on friends and family members for support, engage in faith or spiritual activities such as prayer, meditation or attending church, join a grief support group to share your experience with others experiencing similar loss, or talk to a therapist or grief counselor. These are some of the ways that can ease your sadness and help you come to terms with your loss to help you move on with your life. We need to understand that grieving is an important process to overcome feelings of loss and sadness. It’s also a part of the process when you continue to embrace the time you had with your loved one and celebrate their life.

Cokeitha Gaddist (67 Posts)