How to deal with the loss of your loved one?

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Stages of loss

Losing beloved one is the deepest drama of humankind. No matter what the circumstances, the pain is unbearable. The list of reactions is long: sleepless nights, all of a sudden feeling as if someone just scratched your heart, bursts of cry, anger mixed with sadness, longing, hoping, so on…

They are all part of the mourning that none of us can really avoid. There are particular stages to go through from: anger (who's to blame?), denial (it's not happening), bargaining (change, then I do ....this), depression (I don't feel like doing anything), till final acceptance (It happened and I am at peace now).

I would add in between also quilt (It's my fault) and fear (It awaits all of us. We'll all die).

Any distractions here are only temporary solutions and while they can keep you sane, you will always end up at the point of the "gates of hell."

Going through hell

As somebody said, once you go through hell, keep going. Indeed this is the last place you would like to stop by.

Every culture has own rituals, ceremonies that although they are meant to support a soul in afterlife, they are also helping those who stayed to deal with loss.

I am not saying you have to follow any of that, however traditional or self invented ritual may give a closure. How?

The key lays in mind


The writer, Micheline Rampe proposes certain strategies to regain your psychological strength while dealing with critical life situations. She would probably ask you these questions:

* Who are you without your beloved one?

* How she/he enriched your life? What being together gave you?

* What can you do to bring back this quality to your life?

You don’t have to answer immediately. Let the question be present in your mind for a while until the answer will unfold naturally.

Although it won't bring you back this person, it will give some direction in how to honor memory of a dear one.

It is also important to pay attention to the grief triggers as anniversary, places, etc. and plan them, for example to not be alone, being able to express feelings that very likely will be awakened, etc.

Turning too...

For those who believe in God, there is always a prayer - affirmation - mantra which repeated continuously and intensely, as some claim, it can be an assistance:

“Wherever I am in a deep pain, I am always yours God.”

It is probably not about religiously perceived god, but rather turning to something more profound, universal intelligence, mystery of life perhaps, to gain another insight.



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How people deal with loss

Due to circumstances, differences in our psychological structure, environment we grew up in, everyone reacts in own unique way, therefore needs different amount of time and tools to deal with loss.

A few tips I collected while doing my research, may not be the answer for everyone, however, it is always crucial and important to have support of other people around:

* family, or trusted therapist, friends, joining support group, who can accompany you in a whole process.

* traveling, working, getting a pet, meeting people... I would say getting busy it is a helpful distraction as long as we deal somehow with the loss. Otherwise it is just a distraction. So whatever you do, allow yourself to express your feelings and pay attention to them.

* reading books about death like "Tibetan book of the death" that explains stages of dying and what happens next.

* spiritual ways: some people claim to have contact with beloved one whether through dreams or impressions while meditation. It might be a great comfort to dream about our loved one is in a different world, telling us there is no death and showing that place where he, she is currently living in.

It also can bring a feeling of peace having an impression of calmness while meditation, sort of inner conviction people are having, that no matter where we go after death, something there is safe and well.

What helped you or someone you know to deal with loss?

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