Dealing with Loss

Losing someone or something you love is very painful, and often results in a variety of emotions. Grief is a natural response to loss; it is the emotional suffering that results when someone or something you are attached to is taken away. The death of a loved one often results in the most severe kind of grief but grief can result from a variety of life experiences such as: loss of health, loss of job, loss of financial security, loss of a friendship, or the loss of a dream.

Each person grieves differently. The experience is highly individual, and many different factors affect how you grieve. This process has no set time; it can take months or even years depending on the person’s coping ability and the severity of the loss, so it is important to be patient and to allow the process to naturally unfold. According to Kubler Ross there are 5 different stages of grief:

  • Denial; a feeling of “this can’t be happening” and a refusal to recognize what has happened.
  • Anger; a feeling of blame on whatever caused this event.
  • Bargaining; a mindset in which the person tries to bargain for the return of what has been lost.
  • Depression; a feeling of intense sadness that results from the loss.
  • Acceptance; a mindset in which the person is finally at peace with what has happened and is able to move on

It is important to recognize that these stages are not a rigid framework for what a person should be feeling during the grieving process. Each person deals with grief differently, and might not experience some, or any of these stages in their grieving process, much less experience them in sequential order.

There are several tips that are helpful with coping with grief, such as seeking support. Sharing this burden will make it easier to carry, and it is important that you do not grieve alone; making a connection with others will help you heal. Different ways you can seek support would be to talk to family members, turn towards your faith, seek counseling with a therapist or join a support group.

Another important tip when dealing with grief is to remember to take care of yourself. Loss can significantly affect your energy and emotional reserves. You need to face your feelings rather than ignore them, it is essential to healing. One good way to do this is to express these feelings in a healthy and tangible way, such as journaling. Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you process and work through them.

Be prepared for events/stimuli that may trigger your grief, and plan ahead for the emotional storm that will likely ensue.

Grief is a difficult thing to deal with, as it is incredibly painful to lose something or someone you love, but it is a natural and inevitable part of life. In time, you will be able to heal and move on, but you will likely never forget this loss, nor should you. This process is a part of life, and it is a reminder to live life to its fullest.

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