By virtue of us being human, we all have, or at some point will experience loss, be it in the form of death, divorce, job loss or some other form of loss. Experiencing grief is a natural reaction to loss. Despite your friends telling you “time heals all wounds” it is not so, it’s the process we go through in order to heal that gets us there. We are taught many things in life, but dealing with loss is not one of them, however we try to cope it is difficult to completely recover from what the loss has done to us and our lives.
Dealing With Death
• When you lose a loved one you may experience disbelief; confusion; pre-occupation and you may even sense the presence of the deceased near you. This is all part of the grieving process and this will eventually help you come to terms with your loss. These reactions are natural so you do not need to worry about them, no matter how disturbing they may be.
• A bereaved person sometimes behaves in an unusual way, this is simply a response to our feelings of loss. Some of the changes in behaviour that takes place are:
– Restlessness and over-activity
– Disturbed sleep
– Absent mindedness
– Disturbed appetite
– Dreaming of the deceased
– Social withdrawal
– Sighing or crying
– Avoiding reminders of the deceased
– Visiting places that remind them of the deceased
• Everyone’s reaction to loss will be different, however no matter what kind of behaviour is portrayed, there is no right way, neither is there a wrong way to grieve.
• Besides the emotional experience of loss, you may have to face practical changes. It can be extremely difficult to cope with the loss of a partner who was the bread winner as this means the loss of income and sometimes the loss of your home.
• It is important to notice how you cope with grief, irrespective, try not to suppress your feelings, as this will sooner or later affect your health. In order to cope with loss you may find the following useful:
– Allow yourself to cry
– It is important to express your emotions
– Become angry
– Express how you feel
– Talk to those who are willing to listen
– If you pray, I promise you it help
• By continuing with life as usual you accept that life goes on.
• Acknowledge the reality, the funeral can help with the grieving process.
Although your friends will listen to you for a while, they may not always be able to provide you with the confidential space to talk openly about your feelings. Grief coaching is divided into 6 sessions. Here are some of the topics we will discuss if you decide to work with me:
• Identifying and understanding your pain
• Letting go of the pain
• Getting rid of the guilt
• Dealing with “what could have been”
• Freeing yourself from anguish
• Discovering where your peace really lies.