Loss: When is it ok to Start Again?
Loss Through Death
The loss experienced through death elicits strong emotions unassociated with any other event in life. These emotions can cause divisions in relationships, especially at the death of someone’s spouse. The death of a spouse involves people across more than one family and depending the couples stage in life, matters can become more complicated.
When the individual who passes has young children, the relatives of the deceased can feel anxious about loosing access to the children. The remaining parent may not be vindictive, they may just want to move closer to their family. However there can be competing forces that were held in check for the sake of peace, that are no longer tempered.
With differing opinions, battles can ensue over subjects like money, items, wishes, and even behavior. The one behavior that draws a lot of attention to the remaining spouse, is the amount of time they spend with an unmarried person of the opposite sex, and more importantly, when that begins to happen.
I am aware of various mourning customs that fall along the lines of religion and culture. As a Christian American I am accustom to a one or two day viewing with a funeral service the following day. After the funeral, mourning does not follow any ritual but there appears to be a series of common stages to the grieving process.
Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance where developed by Elisabeth Kugler-Ross while she observed people living with a terminal diagnoses. These are a gage not an absolute and there is no definitive time frame in which they occur nor length of time each stage lasts.
I am not an expert but having gone through this at a young age with young children I think I can offer some insight.
This can be a very emotionally charged discussion due to everyones belief system and their opinion on that belief system. For this reason I would like to provide a frame work for my comments.
I am Christian and believe that through Christ's death and resurrection he has provided the opportunity for anyone to be saved by accepting that gift. Because of this, I believe that my time here on earth is for a reason but my home is in heaven. I associate with others that believe the same way and therefore this plays a role in how we grieve.
Someone with these beliefs is still effected by death and will still mourn the loss. However, when a loved one is facing a long illness the grieving may begin while they are still with us. There may even be conversations in which the dying counsel us about our remaining time on earth.
The suddenness of someones passing, our belief system and a long list of other factors, including personality, will effect how and how long someone will grieve. We should be careful when scrutinizing someone after a death so that we do not apply artificial guidelines that may hinder their healing.
Healing is Personal
If a grown child losses their father, they may unknowingly place a burden on their mother to endure a somber existence until they are ready to move forward. Their mom may feel as if she will disrespect her children's memory of their father if she engages in daily life with enthusiasm to soon. Therefore their mother remains in an attitude of sorrow much like we as parents try to keep things light during scary times when our children are young.
Another instance for this kind of situation is when this tragedy hits someone with young children. The surviving spouse may have in-laws with differing opinions and thus make it challenging to heal. The phrase 'moving to fast' is used in situations where others feel not enough time has passed for a person to have truly mourned. Of course some of this stems from protecting those in mourning against regrettable actions.
I think we should keep a watchful eye on those in mourning to ensure they are not enticed to do something that may endanger themselves or someone under their care. But we need to realize that not everyone will mend in the same way and that starting again can be a very good way to heal. Noticed I said starting again. I do not think this is the same as starting over. To me starting over would be doing the same thing again. This would be a different adventure with different memories.
I do not think the length of time spent in mourning should be a factor in determining if someone is ready to continue with the rest of their life.
© 2014 Merely Musings