Loss of a Family Member
A loss that can never be fulfilled
My first experience with death of a closed family member was when I lost my younger sister. She lost her life at the age of 16 years in a car accident in August 2013 along with my aunt, uncle and their two daughters. It was so painful to see five dead bodies all at once. They were wounded from head to toe. Dealing with the loss was so painful and still it is. There is a void that no one else in the world can fulfill . She was jack of all trades. I dedicate this article to my sister, my angel “Samra”. May her soul rest in peace. Amen.
Loss of a family member is one of the hardest challenges that many of us face. The grief is so intense and chronic, our hearts are broken forever and it cause so much distress and trouble.
Grief is a natural and normal reaction to a loss, it is physical, emotional, spiritual, social and psychological response. Grief is not a sign of weakness it is because we have loved the one we lost. We may experience sleep irregularities, changes in appetite, upset stomach, heartache, restlessness and helplessness. We may not be able to concentrate and remember things.
There are following stages through which one pass when a closed one is lost
3. Frustration and anger
5. Depression and loneliness
- Shock is the first stage that will hit us when someone we love dies. It opens the door to what comes next. We can’t accept the news. Life makes no sense and we constantly pray and wish that we must have heard the wrong news and everything will be ok. I remember when I heared the news of death of my beloved sister for the first time I continuously prayed to God if it was a fake news.
- Denial is the next to come, we start to deny the fact and we go numb. We just want to hide our face, close our eyes or runaway. We just don’t want to see or hear anything. Along the death of a person comes the death of precious memories and feelings of incomplete, unexpressed emotions…. denial is a common self-mechanism. This is the first wave of pain and world become meaningless and overwhelming. Tears roll down our face and our hearts, sadness and darkness prevails in and out of our bodies and soul.
- Frustration, then feeling of frustration and anger emerge in us, the pain re-emerge and it is like something is cutting our heart into pieces. The anger is becoming more intense at complete strangers, friends and relatives. Frustration may be on someone for not attending the funeral or may be on someone who after showing a little sympathy has started their worldly conversations. You might have questions from God. Underneath anger is highly unpleasant sensation.
- Guilt in this stage we are stuck in a “what if” or “if only”. We want our loved one restored. We want to go back in time and prevent our beloved from the journey that took their life in an accident or recognize the illness more early. Guilt is often bargaining’s companion. We remain in the past trying to negotiate our way out of hurt. We start to believe there must be something we could have done that might have saved our beloved from losing his/her life.
- Depression may overcome you. We may feel all alone in the whole world. Depression have negative effects on health of a person. It may affect the whole family and result in increased blood pressure, persistent headache, chest pain, heart palpitations and dizziness etc. There is a loss of hope and one feels himself in a dark well. Not everyone experience the negative feelings that go with depression. Interest in the people is lost or activities that once brought us pleasure.
- Acceptance of the fact is the final stage, a time comes when we start to accept the death of our beloved. It may takes months or year to come to term with a loss. There is a famous saying that “time heals everything”, but the one who has suffered can understand, before going to sleep at night, when the world is quiet, deep down in our heart something is missing and we dearly and greatly miss our beloved.
"A thousand times we needed you. A thousand times we cried. If love alone could have saved you, you never would have died. A heart of gold stopped beating; two twinkling eyes closed to rest. God broke our hearts to prove; He only took the best. Never a day goes by that you’re not in my heart and soul.". (Poem by Kimberly N.Chastain
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Zainab saeed