Michelle Aycock: Loved one's death can be difficult to manage
Recently, I lost a very dear friend of mine.
Needless to say I am not very good at dealing with death. My first memory of death was my grandmotherâ€™s funeral many, many years ago. I was very close to my grandmother, and looking back I remember thinking, â€śShe canâ€™t be gone.â€ť It wasnâ€™t until weeks later that it finally hit me that she was no longer on this earth. That memory is still as vivid today as it was the day of her funeral. Losing friends and loved ones can be very difficult. It is not a happy time, and we really shouldnâ€™t try to feel that way.
Most if not all of us are going to lose someone we love in our lifetime. This loss can be devastating and can rule our lives for years with feelings of helplessness and overwhelming sadness. Anger, sadness and fear are all emotions that are normal to feel when you have lost a loved one. Tears and anger are an important part of the healing process. It can be a very confusing process as you may feel the need to be strong and put it all behind you, but this is difficult to do. Grieving a loved one or friendâ€™s death can be one of the most painful to endure. It is a process and takes time to get through it. Dealing with loss is one of the most important life skills to learn as we all will experience death of some nature in our lifetime.
Some things to keep in mind as you are grieving include:
â€˘ Tears are a sign of strength, not weakness.
â€˘ It takes time to process losing a loved one.
â€˘ You will not always feel the way you do now.
â€˘ Every relationship we have is temporary.
The goal of dealing with the loss of a loved one is to move through the grieving process, understand that it is OK to be sad right now as you cannot expect yourself to be happy during a sad time. In going through this process you may experience what are called the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, grieving and acceptance.
Some ways to deal with the loss of someone close to you are:
â€˘ Realize that your feelings of sadness are normal and expected, along with the feeling that things may never be the same. Expect your loved oneâ€™s death to bring up intense feelings, donâ€™t try to ignore these feelings instead accept that this is part of the grieving process.
â€˘ Donâ€™t try to do it alone. Isolating yourself from family and friends may cause further problems for the individual who is grieving. During times of loss it is important to talk and share our feelings with others.
â€˘ Avoid making any long-term decisions. At times of crisis our ability to make rational decisions can be diminished. Put off important decisions until you have achieved some closure or at least until you feel more focused and stable.
â€˘ Take care of your health. With having to adjust to our recent loss we may be more prone to letting ourselves go. Try to get enough sleep, eat right and exercise.
My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who has lost a friend or loved one, especially my dear friendâ€™s family, as he will be truly missed.
Michelle Aycock is a licensed psychotherapist. Her office number is 912-233-4294. Her website is coastaltherapist.com. Submit a parenting question at firstname.lastname@example.org. She has a blog at savannahnow.com/blogs/parentingtip.