It is Okay to Grieve the ones you Love

We have all lost loved ones but this does not mean that we know how the other felt when it happened. Grieving is a normal healthy process of how humans react to the loss of a loved one or a friend. It has five stages namely denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. We all have to undergo all these stages so as to recover fully.

Denial is the first of the five stages of grief. It helps us to survive the loss. In this stage, the world becomes meaningless and overwhelming. Life makes no sense. We are in a state of shock and denial. We go numb. We wonder how we can go on, if we can go on, why we should go on. We try to find a way to simply get through each day. Denial and shock help us to cope and make survival possible. Denial helps us to pace our feelings of grief. There is a grace in denial. It is nature’s way of letting in only as much as we can handle. As you accept the reality of the loss and start to ask yourself questions, you are unknowingly beginning the healing process. You are becoming stronger, and the denial is beginning to fade. But as you proceed, all the feelings you were denying begin to surface.

Anger is a necessary stage of the healing process. Be willing to feel your anger, even though it may seem endless. The more you truly feel it, the more it will begin to dissipate and the more you will heal. There are many other emotions under the anger and you will get to them in time, but anger is the emotion we are most used to managing. The truth is that anger has no limits. It can extend not only to your friends, the doctors, your family, yourself and your loved one who died, but also to God. You may ask, “Where is God in this? Underneath anger is pain, your pain. It is natural to feel deserted and abandoned, but we live in a society that fears anger. Anger is strength and it can be an anchor, giving temporary structure to the nothingness of loss. At first grief feels like being lost at sea: no connection to anything. Then you get angry at someone, maybe a person who didn’t attend the funeral, maybe a person who isn’t around, maybe a person who is different now that your loved one has died. Suddenly you have a structure – – your anger toward them. The anger becomes a bridge over the open sea, a connection from you to them. It is something to hold onto; and a connection made from the strength of anger feels better than nothing. We usually know more about suppressing anger than feeling it. The anger is just another indication of the intensity of your love.

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After grieving a person will accept the fact that the person they love is no more and that they have to move on. The person can now vocalize all the emotions they had locked inside due to sadness. They can talk to close friends or even see a psychologist.

Moving on with life

Mourning the loss of a close friend or relative takes time, but research tells us that it can also be the catalyst for a renewed sense of meaning that offers purpose and direction to life.

Grieving individuals may find it useful to use some of the following strategies to help come to terms with loss:

Talk about the death of your loved one with friends and colleagues in order to understand what happened and remember your friend or family member. Denying the death is an easy way to isolate yourself, and will frustrate your support system in the process.Accept your feelings. People experience all kinds of emotions after the death of someone close. Sadness, anger, frustration and even exhaustion are all normal.Take care of yourself and your family. Eating well, exercising and getting plenty of rest help us get through each day and move forward.Reach out and help others dealing with the loss. Helping others has the added benefit of making you feel better as well. Sharing stories of the deceased can help everyone cope.Remember and celebrate the lives of your loved ones. Possibilities include donating to a favorite charity of the deceased, framing photos of fun times, passing on a family name to a baby or planting a garden in memory. What you choose is up to you, as long as it allows you honor that unique relationship in a way that feels right to you. If you feel stuck or overwhelmed by your emotions, it may be helpful to talk with a licensed psychologist or other mental health professional who can help you cope with your feelings and find ways to get back on track.

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No one is skilled when it comes to comforting a grieving person. It seems we only know how to make things worse at that time. This calls for knowledge in the things we should never say in such situations.


I know how you feel.

No, actually, you don’t know how I feel. Even if you’ve lost your dad, you didn’t lose my dad. Even if you lost your nephew, you didn’t lose my nephew. The fact is, your situation may be similar on the surface, but relationship is what makes each similar situation so vastly distinct. My love for my dad may have been like every son’s love for his father, but the particularities of our relationship – both good and bad – make my love for him unique, and make your love for your father unique. Yes, you may know the pain of losing a father. And that pain may have some overlap with my pain. But our pains are unique to the people and memories we lost. So, no, you don’t know how I feel.

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