HOW TO OVERCOME THE SADNESS THAT ACCOMPANIES LOSS
Coping with the loss of losing a loved one is not easy. It can often lead to negative thoughts and emotions towards oneself, others and the world. It is necessary to process one’s emotions after the tragedy of losing someone who was close to us.
In her book, “On Death and Dying”, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross described the five stages of grief as: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. This gives a basic framework of how most people deal with grief. Everyone may not experience all these stages or go through them linearly, but most people experience some or all of these stages in the process of overcoming their grief.
Coping with the loss of a spouse, sibling, parent, child or any loved one can be traumatic. Some people are able to overcome the loss on their own with time through social integration and healthy habits. There is no fixed time period considered normal for a person to grieve. People take their own time to come to terms with their loss. Their relationship with the loved one also affects the grieving process.
Some people may experience inability to get on with their lives and perform daily tasks. It is best for them to speak to a psychologist or licensed healthcare professional to help the healing process.
What can be done to move on
Talk about the death: Talking about the loss with understanding people helps comes to terms with the loss and get on with life. It might also help uncover emotions that we ourselves may be unaware of.
Help others dealing with the loss: There may be others who too are grieving over the loss of the same person. Lending a helping hand to others with not only help us bond with others but also instil a sense of purpose and responsibility, which will help get over the grief.
Accept the feelings: Sadness, anger, regret and even physical weakness are normal reactions in such a situation. We should not allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by these emotions but instead accept them as a normal part of the grieving process.
Cherish the good times shared: In this time of loss, it is also necessary to reflect on the good times shared together with the loved one. We can plant trees in the loved one’s memory, donate to a cause that was close to their heart and look back on photographs of time spent together.
Speak to a psychologist if needed: If we find ourselves being overwhelmed by emotion over a prolonged period of time and unable to complete regular tasks, it might be prudent to seek the help of a trained professional to help overcome the loss. It is perfectly acceptable to seek professional help for overcoming grief so that we may carry on with our life with renewed vigour.
Overcoming the death of a loved one is not easy. However, it is essential to move on and live life to the fullest and cherish the memories we had together. Being immobilized by remorse or guilt is an unhealthy reaction in the long run and does not help either us or those around us. Let’s try to focus on the fact that we were lucky to have known the person and spent time with them, however brief. This will help us process our emotions in a healthier way.