Amelia Gillis, LMHC
Losing within: Grief Unfolded
O Death, Where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
Death stings. I have yet to find victory within your loss.
They say that when someone leaves then you eventually come to terms with the loss.
It's been a few years and I can't get over the loss. I feel stuck. I don't see how losing you is a win. I don't get how "you being in a better place" benefits me. I refuse to accept that you are gone. I rather not accept that reality. Accepting that reality feels as though you're not here with me. You are here. I know it. I won't kill you off. I can't deal with this right now or tomorrow. I don't know when I will accept that you're not here.
I miss your presence. I miss your laugh. I miss your smell.
I find joy in the moments we had before you left.
I am tired of being strong. I feel like I am losing within.
Why can't I accept that you're gone?
Your loss impacted me.
You are not alone. Grief is complicated. It has no define definition or structure of how it should be processed. It is immense, complex, rude, silent, overwhelming, and so many other words.
When a death takes place, you may experience a wide range of emotions, even when the death is expected. Many people have reported that during the the initial stage of first learning of the death, they feel numbness. Some may accept the death, others may bargain, while others may be depressed or angry. There is no real order to the grieving process.
Just remember that these feelings are normal and common reactions to loss. You may not be prepared for the intensity and duration of your emotions or how swiftly your moods may change. Many have even doubted the stability of their mental health. Be assured that these feelings are healthy and appropriate and will help you come to terms with your loss.
Often, death is a subject that is avoided, ignored, or denied. Grieving and acknowledging the pain can seem more painful than experiencing the initial loss. At first it may seem helpful to separate yourself from the pain, but this can lead to be detrimental. We cannot avoid grieving.
UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT
Truth be told, It is not easy to cope after a loved one dies. After a loss, you will mourn and grieve the loss. Mourning is a part of accepting the loss. This could include honoring your love ones. It is a personal experience that can last months or even years.
Your grief is likely to be expressed physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Grieving is the outward expression of your loss. Grief can have an impact on your life in many ways. It can feel as thought the loss can lead to another and another. The loss generates a ripple effect that can drain you and cause profound reactions to occur. An obsession with the deceased is also a common reaction to death. With the many impacts, the loss can impact your physical, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing.
Grief can be accompany by physical impacts. These impacts include shortness of breath; loss of appetite; crying; fatigue and sleep problems.
Grief can be accompany by emotional impacts. These impacts include numbness; loneliness and emptiness; anger and resentment; confusion; deep and ongoing sadness; and a loss of interest in things that used to bring pleasure.
Grief can be accompany by social impacts. These impacts include withdrawal; isolation; conflict due to people having different grieving styles; unrealistic expectations of others. Sometimes carers withdraw from others in order to cope with their grief or to avoid negative judgement.
Grief can be accompany by spiritual impacts. These impacts include loss of meaning and a search for new meaning; questioning your spiritual beliefs; strengthening your spiritual beliefs.
It is important to remember that it can take time to fully absorb the impact of a major loss. Coping with a loss is vital to your mental health.
COPING WITH THE LOSS
The loss of a love one can be life's most stressful event with the greatest possibilities of impact. It is important that you are intentional about your mental health. One of the best things you can do is to allow yourself to grieve as it is vital to your mental health.
Here are different methods of effectively coping with the pain:
Support System: Allow others who care about you to surround you. Surround yourself with friends and family who can understand your feelings of loss. Join support groups with those who are experiencing similar losses. Seek outside help when necessary especially when the grief seems to hard to bare.
Express Yourself: Allow yourself to express your feelings. Processing your emotions can help you work through the grieving process.
Address your Health: To avoid certain impacts, be sure to eat well, exercise, and get good rest. Be mindful that there is danger in creating dependence on drugs, alcohol, or other self-medicating habits to deal with grief.
Stay Present: Find meaning in the now. Post pone major life's changes in order to give yourself time to adjust to the loss. Adding major changes can make the new season challenging.
Time is a Gift: Be sure to give yourself the gift of time. A loss can take months and even years to absorb and accept. Be sure to patient and understand the gift of time.
Working through grief can take time. However, with support, patience, and effort the impact takes on a different form.