Dealing With The Grief Of The Lost Of A Loved One
The Process of Grief One sad issue that we have to deal with as we get older is loss. Not only are we aging, but so are our friends and family members.
While all of us will experience the loss of someone close to us at some point in our lives, it can become more difficult as we age and the frequency of it becomes more often. Individual responses to death can vary. A
fter a loss, a grieving process has to take place, most often in stages. Throughout each stage of the process, different emotions are experienced, and the stages can be different from person to person.
You may experience: shock, a protective mechanism that shields you from the impact; anger, either at the person who died since they let you down, or because you need to blame someone or something; depression and feelings of sadness and loneliness; guilt that you did not do enough for the person who passed; denial, where you shut all the feelings in; fear, sadness, and anxiety; relief that suffering has been ended; or even longing for a return to normal.
Not everyone goes through grief the same way or with the same intensity. There is no right way or wrong way to grieve, or an appropriate time period when it should be over. Grieving can last for years, depending on the individual and the type of relationship that they had with the person who passed on.
There are many common reactions to grief. Some people may have a hard time believing that the person that they knew and loved so well is gone. Others may feel that it was unfair, or that they should not have died. They might think that the person was too young or too good to die.
They may even have problems picturing life going on without that person, especially when it is a spouse, a child or parent, or another person that they were extremely close to. Religious services and other rituals are common, and many people feel the need for them.
They also are taking preventive measures to stay healthy and detect diseases. They are screened regularly for breast cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancers, depression, prostate cancer and diabetes with its many complications. Poor health does not have to be a part of the aging process. There are effective ways to prevent or delay chronic conditions like arthritis, depression, osteoporosis, and urinary incontinence.
They can help move the grieving process along, and give a sense of closure as well as a chance to receive support from others. These ceremonies give the people who were close to the one that passed a chance to reach out to each other in a common time of grief, as well as to say good-bye to the one that is deceased. Each culture and religious belief may have its own ritual, or a combination of rituals may be performed depending on the person.
Some common ones include: wakes and sit-ins where the body is displayed; setting up a memorial in the home with candles, flowers, and other tokens; holding a memorial service; writing in a journal or scrap booking memories, and visiting the grave site. Any of these rituals that provide comfort can be healing. A support system at the time of a loss is very important.
If you know of a house bound senior, take time to get to know them, offer to take them to run errands, and go out for lunch. This can be a tremendous boost to their moral, and you get to make a new friend.
Many churches, community centers, and nursing homes offer bereavement support groups that can help share different kinds of information and experiences. Counseling can also prove therapeutic in helping an individual through the grieving processes. Give yourself a chance to grieve properly and to take care of your emotional needs.
Healthy Aging Issues Today