How to get over the loss of your loved one
I know what it feels to have lost someone so close to you as a parent. The loss is irreplaceable especially if you were deeply attached to the deceased. Things were never the same for me and my mom when suddenly out of the blue, my father was detected with having liver cancer. And that too, without any of the ills causing the same like drinking and smoking. He eventually succumbed to the dreaded disease and we could not do much to save him.
It is more painful when you know beforehand you are going to lose someone!
We were aware that the cancer had already done a lot of damage to him and there were very grim chances of him coming out of it alive. The doctors at the hospital gave up and asked us to take him home so that he could spend his last few days with family. But after about 10 days at home we admitted him to another hospital since he was not responding to our actions. He was going into coma. That was the last night we spent with him as the very next morning he too, gave up.
The doctors left the choice upon us whether to give him further injections or to let him go. We chose the latter! Pain was no more desirable!
The first few months are difficult
The first few months after the incident are quite crucial to come out from the grief of the incident. I was lucky to have a strong support system in my family, friends and even people from the community whom we didn't know much came forward to help. The whole incident showed me that good people still exist in the society. It is just that we have to change our viewpoints and keep aside our prejudices. Well, now moving forward with the topic these are some of the ways that can be of help:
Relive all those memories in the first month
We have a tradition that the ones who used to stay with the deceased do not go out for the first twelve days after the death. All that is required at home is brought by the other family members. I do not know the reason for the same but yes, I personally feel it is a good way to release all the grief burdening your mind by not moving into society for those twelve days. Since you have no contact with anyone, you inadvertently remember all the amazing years spent together and this helps to relieve the stress.
It feels good to be loved and cared for. When other family members willingly bring us groceries and day-to-day necessities, it indirectly strengthens the bond, the connect between all. It brings the family closer.
- Relive all the memories you had with the deceased during the first month.
- Cry, cry and cry! Let all the grief, the sadness and the distress associated trickle down your cheeks.
This will surely give you more strength and prevent you from getting depressed when reminded of the incident in future. You will slowly but surely move on.
Keep yourself busy
An idle mind is a devil's workshop is a proverb that has been written out of experience. When you constantly dig deep into the memories of the death even after a long time post the incident, you might exhibit either :
- An escapist behaviour.(Engaging in fantasies to run away from the realities of life.)
- Some kind of personality disorder (e.g. BPD). Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is however caused more due to genetic factors and child abuse than such a loss.
- Suicidal thoughts.
- Substance abuse.
That is why it is important to keep yourself busy so that you do not get time to resuscitate those memories.
- Learn a new skill like playing a Guitar, coding, calligraphy, graphology, painting and so on.
- Music is a great stress-buster be it playing an instrument, singing, dancing or simply listening to music.
- Read your favourite books or a holy book of any religion.
- Join the nearby sports or activity club.
- Write if you love sharing your thoughts. Write on a site like Hubpages so that you can even generate passive income side-by-side.
- Teach some skill to other people.
- Get involved in community activities or join an NGO as a volunteer.
- Adopt a stray dog or a trained pet. Animals can be great company!
These are only some of the ways. You know yourself better than anybody else. So find out some good activity and pursue it.
Spend time with Nature
Take a stroll in a park around you and feel the wet grass under your feet. The feeling is unmatchable! Feel the cool breeze causing the leaves to dance along and listen to the music of birds. Creativity comes out best in such scenarios (At least this is what I have heard till now).
Make it a habit to spend time with family
The people closest to you both biologically and emotionally are your family members. Make them realise that they are important to you.
You feel good when you do something good to others. Even others feel cared for when you help them without being asked for. Do a good turn as far as possible. If you earn well, do some direct charity ensuring that your money lands at the right place and is being used for the right purpose.
- Help a child to pay his educational expenses. Each one teach one.
- Spread awareness about the need of insurance among your peers so that they stay prepared for any undesirable event.
- Go to a home for physically challenged people. You will realise how lucky you are!
- Spread positivity around you. Be optimistic about life.
- Give others a reason to succeed, inspire someone.
Cooking is something that satiates the basic reason for our existence, the reason why we work: Hunger.
Learn cooking to keep yourself and your family healthy and do away with the ready-to-eat foodstuffs acting as slow poison. We all know what happened with Maggi in India.
Tie yourself to a goal
The best way to pay homage to the deceased is to make him/her proud by doing something worthwhile. Find out what you aspire for in life and work towards achieving that dream.
Whenever you waver from your goal, remind yourself of your loved one(who is no more). Work as if he/she is still alive and you are doing it for their happiness, for the smile on their face.
Each step taken by you will be reciprocated by those around you. If you wish to stay along with the grief and do nothing good to the society then no one will be there to help you. On the other hand, if you start making positive changes to your life, others will be compelled to support you.
Death is inevitable. It may be sudden, it may be prolonged, but it has to be faced someday. Life is like a drama. People play their part and leave. Outside the drama, an actor is no longer in existence. He is a normal person. In one play the actor plays the role of a king/queen while in the other the story does not involve a king/queen. Does that mean we grieve for the loss of the king/queen?
Different people bring us in touch with the different kinds of emotions that we alone cannot discover. Once we have discovered all that we could from a person, he/she leaves our drama and joins someone else's. And once that person has filled his own quota of experiences he/she exits the stage itself!
The wise learn from the mistakes of others. So why not take a loved one's death to make much needed changes to your life?
Here below I share three different videos based on different perspectives and theories behind death. You can go through any one of these based on your interests.
Mr. Robert Lanza says Death is just a transfer of energy from one universe to the other!
TEDx talk (Another perspective)
Death according to Vedanta Philosophy
I am open to any changes that can be made to this article to make it more beneficial. You can convey it through mail or put it in the comments section. Thank you for reading.
© 2015 Ramachandra A Pai