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Aug 12, 2010

Loving Life Again After a Loss

When somebody loses a person who is important for them, they undergo grieving. Grieving helps the person to accept and understand their loss. It also helps them to accept or come to terms with the loss of the loved one. After a period of grief, it is then that they would be able to step forward and start living and loving life again.

When a death takes place, even if it is expected especially coming from a long illness, you may still experience a wide range of emotions. There can be denial, disbelief, confusion, shock, sadness, yearning, anger, humiliation, despair even guilt. Feeling these emotions are pretty normal, and even healthy.

It takes time for a person to fully grasp the concept that their loved one is no longer around. There are times when intense feelings of missing that person happen. But the pain eases after time and allows the person left behind to move on with their lives.

When in grief, there are people who report to experience physical symptoms like stomach pain, loss of appetite, intestinal upsets, sleep disturbances and loss of energy are all common symptoms of acute grief. There may even be extreme reaction like anxiety attacks, chronic fatigue, depressions and thoughts of suicide.

To cope with the pain and loss, getting support from people who acknowledge and understand the loss, and who have experienced the pain of separation will help you to adapt to a new life.

To cope with the loss, here are some things that can be done:

• Give permission to yourself to acknowledge and feel the pain
• Be patient with the process and avoid putting pressure to yourself in order to meet certain expectations.
• Express the feelings. Crying are both necessary and part of the healing process.
• Get support. There are people that you can talk to about your loss and memories.
• Take care of yourself. Eat well and exercise. Physical activities release tension.
• Avoid overindulgence in alcohol. Alcohol will make things and your feelings worse in the long run.
• Forgive yourself for all the things you said or didn’t say
• Accept that life is for the living
• Postpone major life changes like moving to a new house, changing jobs or having another child.

Death or loss arouses some feelings that are deeply overwhelming. A death of a child may awake feelings of injustice, frustration over lost potential, lost dreams and senseless suffering. Some parents feel they are responsible. Meanwhile, for a spouse’s death, aside from the shock, it may also be the cause of a potential financial crisis, especially if the spouse is the main provider.

Elderly people losing a spouse are very vulnerable, for these cases they feel that they are losing a lifetime of shared experiences. A loss due to suicide can be among the most difficult loss to face and bear. Survivors are burdened by guilt, anger and shame.

Children who have experience loss may react differently than adults. Parent’s death is very difficult for small children. Their inability to express their feelings and limited understanding put children in a very difficult situation, they revert to earlier behaviors like bet-wetting, asking insensitive questions about the deceased, invent games about dying and pretending that nobody died.

Shouting or harsh criticism directed to the child only deepens the child’s anxiety and sense of insecurity and instability. It is important to talk to children honestly.

Surviving loss and grief can be done with support, patience and effort. Some day the pain would pass, and you can gull get back to the memories of your loved ones and loving life would come with ease.

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