The Grieving Process
What is grief
According to Wikipedia: Grief is a multi-faceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something to which a bond was formed. Although conventionally focused on the emotional response to loss, it also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, spiritual, and philosophical dimensions......
Although we are born into a world where death is a part of life, we never get use to the idea. Death in some form is always around the corner or at the end of the road. No matter how old or wise you are, when ever you lose someone important or whom you have formed a bond with you grieve. Even the loss of an abusive parent can and in some cases will be grieved (even if you are glad that they are gone).
Grief, although we may paint an ugly face on it, is a necessary part of life. It may be displaced in periods of uncontrollable tears or there may be no tears at all, nights may become sleepless, and the desire to eat may cease for a time. There is no set pattern of grief. we all do it in our own individual way. There will be good days, and there will be bad days, there is no set time limit. How we grieve and how we loved are two separate issues.
Forms of grief
Grief does not always shown it's face in the form of tears. How someone passed can and will in a lot of cases have an impact (murder, suicide, illness...). Losing a child/sibling can set off periods of depression for a parent or other siblings in the family. Sometimes a parent will judge themselves or question their inability to stand in the way of the death that claimed their child. Our children are supposed to outlive us, or so we choose to believe.
- When my son was murdered I beat myself up inside. I regretted my decision to allow him to stay away from home an additional day. Why didn't I tell him to come home right away... I forgot to tell him that I loved him the last night that we spoke on the phone...Why did a stray bullet find it's way to him when he was on his to way to call me...Depression set me on a downward spiral that led me into giving up a career that I loved. I gave up a home that I was buying for my boys because as long as I was there I was still waited for him to come home, even tho I knew he was dead. I wanted to die because I blamed myself for his death even tho I wasn't the one who pulled the trigger.
- From the sibling/brother point of view, my son questioned why his brother died and not him; he was the kid that gave me the most problems with school or just plain rebelling. Bullying his brother was something that he enjoyed doing because he was older and bigger, which he now regrets. He forgot to tell his brother how much he meant to him and that he loved him. After his brother's death, going back to college was the last thing on his mind; he felt that he was no longer worthy of the opportunity, but in time and with support he did retun and learned how to deal with his grief/anger/depression.
- Suicides may set off periods of guilt for not only the family but friends as well. Their thoughts may lead them down this road, Why didn't I see it coming...Did they call out to me for help and I did not hear...Is there something that I could have said or done to change their mind...How could they leave me...Didn't they know that I would always be there for them.
The murder of someone close to you can set off anger and thoughts of revenge. This kind of grief which leads down a road of anger and rage can be very destructive, not only to the grieving person but someone else/family as well.
We all have to find our own pathway, we are individuals.
- The worst thing that someone can say to a person that is dealing with loss is to get over it or move on. If at anytime you hear this in your ear remove this toxic statement.
- There is no time limit, grief takes as long as it take.
- Grief is a natural reaction to loss. You are not alone and you are not the only one; no matter how isolated or alone you may feel.
- Grief is individual, no two people are exactly the same. How you handle loss is not the same way that everyone else does.
- Remember, you must except the reality of loss. It may be painful but it is a reality none-the-less.
- Grief can be managed, if you feel yourself in trouble, seek help.
- The pain does lessen over time, this does not mean that you will forget your loved one.
- How we grieve and how we love is not the same things.
Miss Makeba shares what she went through before finding help:
"I stopped talking and cut myself off from the world. I even took it as far as harming myself in ways like cutting, burning, or self mutilation...I did this so that I could feel alive, and the only way was by feeling pain. With counseling and medication I was able to sort out my pain and can now think about the loss of my brother without guilt. I was able to except the fact that he did not leave me......"
If trouble comes:
For some, grief may lead them down a dark road that they may need help getting out of. If there is someone close to you or even yourself, finding it hard to deal with a loss seek help. There are community out-reach groups around the world that are ready and able to assist. If you belong to a church, talk to your pastor or other groups within the church that are available to you. Call a hot-line number if you need to vent, help is there. All you need do is to open the door.
- Take care of yourself to prevent physical/mental decline.
- Eat, I know that it sounds easy but it may not be from time to time. Be sure to include fruits and vegetables. Be sure to address any unhealthy eating problems as they occur.
- If you find yourself not bathing or changing your clothes know that this could be a warning sign.
- Drugs and alcohol may make you feel good for a short time, but too much of anything can be very damaging.
Each of us handle the hurdles in life differently. Things will get better in time. Hold on, and never be afraid to seek help. I found that writing was a great out-let for me. For others it may be painting or jogging. Be sure to do all things in moderation.
Dedicated to my brother:
Although he is gone, my mind refuses to forget the beauty of him.
I miss you brother
As time goes by and time increase
The haunting reality which laid dormant in me from birth has awakened a new reality.
The spirit called death, alive and well.
Soon to conquer me, soon to conquer you.
Running matters not,
In time we must all embrace it.
Understanding it doesn't help,
It is inevitable.
I feel so alone
I don't know how to except the death that once awaited you.
The death that will one day come for me.
How can I help others to understand
The flame of faith that still burns bright.
I refuse to be swayed by negative opinions.
I don't care what the doctors said.
All I knew is that I must keep holding on;
Until there is nothing to hold on to.
No matter how foolish I looked
No matter what medical medical results said
The God I serve once made new eyes for a blind man,
Stopped an issue of blood
And replaced an ear that had been severed.
I hear tell that in the beginning he made this earth
And the beast of the field, air and water.
He even created man.
How could I give my brother up to death;
When I know a God who can not only heal him
But, make him whole.