Loss and Grief
I have seen grief at its worst. We frequently hear of people being abducted and their bodies have never been found. Thoughts of family members or loved ones who have committed suicide or randomly killed keep us up at night thinking there was more that could have been done. The loved ones of those souls, sometimes, do not know whether to let go or continue to cling to their hope that someday they would meet their loved ones again or, at least, have justice served. With no body to bury or resolutions to put minds at ease, the loved ones hold on to hope, and, simultaneously, despair. After time passes, some start to realize they will never see their loved ones again or there isn’t anything that can be done to bring them back. Some of their bereavements may have taken a toll on their work, relationships with friends and family, and their overall wellbeing. Other loved ones may get professional help for those struggling to let go, while others will get on with their lives without any debilitating feelings of loss.
Grief may not always be about the death of a loved one. It may also be the loss of things people value or care for deeply. This is a natural reaction to a loss. Although painful, grief or bereavement is normal and necessary to expunge all the negative feelings associated with that loss. People react to a deep loss differently. Others can cry, as this is cathartic. But, there are others who stoically bear the sorrow of bereavement. It may take months or years before they can come to grips with themselves. There are an infinite number of reactions to the death of a loved one. One may be shocked or disbelieving, harbor a sense of deep loss, and feel guilt/survivor’s remorse and regret.
Other people are not aware that bereavement may prod feelings of injustice, envy, anger, and relief, especially in the cases of abductees or suicides and their loved ones. They nurture this nagging suspicion that there is something more they should be doing on the decedent’s behalf or that they should not feel this way at all. When others wallow in loneliness and depression this is also normal, to an extent. The process of grief does not follow a formula, but we are not meant to stay in that emotion. Some may need professional help to return to their normal, and others may get back on with their routines in a snap.
Bereavement is also painful for children and adolescents. Very young children may not understand the extent of the loss but they feel the pain as much as adults do. They may not communicate their grief, for they see that the adults are grieving. Sometimes when young adolescents feel they are to blame for the death of a loved one, this can do great harm to the mind of a young child or adolescent. So, it is very important that we develop a grief process for young children as they are delicate and must understand that loss is a naturally occuring part of life; and, not ever any fault of theirs.
Some individuals may seek help from religious, nonprofit or volunteer organizations. Others may have to add a psychotherapist or a bereavement counselor to their routine. It is advisable to get professional help when someone cannot get over bereavement. A psychiatrist or family doctor will provide medical help and prescriptions for those going into deep depressions that they cannot seem to pull themselves out of. Despite the feeling of being alone during a deep loss, grief and the pain of grief is experienced by everyone in the world at some point in life. Don’t ever feel alone during your grieving and reach out to someone if you feel you need help. Don’t hold on to or ignore the feelings during the process. Understand them and embrace what they are. It is conducive to your healing, no matter the type of loss it is.