The death of a person close to you can cause a great deal of intense emotions involving loss and grief. Missing the person on a physical level is apparent, but it is not quite as painful as thinking of all the things that might have been should they have stayed with you. Memories and fantasies will seem to haunt you most of the time through a series of scenarios of “what ifs”. The thought of that person missing out on the important events of your life can ignite an episode of extreme grief. Thinking of all the occasions that you are supposed to share with that person will drop you further into the pit of misery and loneliness.
The time frame from which a person may start to move on and grief ends are unknown. Some have difficulty recovering from losing a loved one. Some might have periods of sadness from time to time with this cycle continuing for months or even years. There are others who find a renewed feeling of hope at some point – whether months or years later. Sadly, there are some who stay lonely for a long time and cannot somehow get through the feeling of sadness and loss.
The most essential part of healing following a period of grief or loss is gaining support from people! Even if a person is extremely uncomfortable in opening up to another, it is important to talk to someone who is willing to listen and to lend a shoulder to cry on. Knowing that other people understand what you are going through can make the burden seem lighter. In time, you will find the way towards complete healing – where the intense emotions of loss and grief are no longer the center point of your life.
It is not right to suppress your feeling and emotions! At some point, it is better to let them out. They will not fade away. If you “stuff” them, you are at least subconsciously dwelling on them. It is not right to block the process of grieving because it can delay the process of recovery. Support from friends and family is important and should be accepted. Recognize your need for help.
Be honest with other people! If they are offering you help, tell them what they can do to make you feel better. You can ask them to accompany you to a movie, in a restaurant or to just hold your hand as you cry.
You might find they are extremely uncomfortable with your display of emotions. Tell them gently what you are going through and explain that you are in the process of healing the wound of grief and moving on.
You can try doing other things to cope with your grief and loss! You can do things that can make you feel better. It is a good therapy to write in a journal, open up your feelings by writing them all down, creating a scrapbook in memory of your lost loved one, make an artwork, start a foundation in commemoration of your loved one and many other things. The thought is to do something that can help you express your emotions and lead you towards healing at the same time.
Remember to care for your physical self by trying to get enough rest and sleep! It is also important that you eat well, stretch, and get as much exercise as possible. Never engage in alcohol or drugs to numb your emotions. Stick to healthy habits and do not resort to vices that can harm you no matter how much it can artificially mask the pain.
Do not let others tell you what you should feel! Just allow your emotion to take its course because your grief is a part of your personal life. No one can dictate to you what you should feel or when to move on. It is natural that you will feel angry from time to time, or you will feel the urge to cry, shout or curse. Let it all out but do not ignore the way you need to complete healing especially if you know that you are almost there!
Make plans during holidays, anniversaries, important events and other milestones. This can be very challenging but preparing yourself can spare you from being hurt all over again. Expect the emotional wallop that you might experience over again and be strong in facing it. Talk to your relatives about certain expectations and participate in honoring your lost love.
John T. Catrett, III