Dealing with the death of a loved one:
Different types of grief and methods of dealing with the grief
Anytime a loved one passes it is usually a very traumatic and emotional ordeal, regardless of the circumstances surrounding their passing. However, there are those deaths that hit a little closer to the heart, and those are generally considered deaths of the immediate family.
1)Death of a child
A parent should never have to endure the
soul-numbing agony of losing a child. When a child is lost, both parents and
siblings lives are changed forever.
Depending on age, and the circumstances, siblings will typically feel a
great deal of guilt after the overwhelming sense of shock has subsided. It is
only after these powerful feelings have been honestly and completely
experienced that true healing can begin. Siblings often times seek to start
rebuilding their lives relatively quickly after their grieving process. The
process for parents on the other hand, can be quite a bit longer. A complete recovery
is next to impossible. Most parents never even consider the possibilities of
their children dying before them, much less having to actually deal with the
reality of that loss. It is crucial that compassion, patience and understanding
be the rule of the day. Most parents
will feel anger and great frustration combined with feelings and thoughts of "why not me?" Support groups and
marriage counseling can be invaluable tools as each parent may feel that they
are the only ones that have endured such a tragic event, when in reality many
people have experienced the same feelings and can be invaluable resources in
the healing process.
2)Death of a spouse
Losing a spouse can have a crippling effect on your entire being, mind body and soul. A loss such as the loss of a spouse can be one of the most deeply hurtful experiences ever. Most widowers will always feel that a significant part of their life is forever gone. These feelings are normal and should be embraced, not ignored or denied. It is also often the case that the spouse makes all of the funeral arrangements; this can leave the grieving widower dangerously exhausted. This exhaustion is as much psychological, as it is physical, and if not properly monitored can often times result in hospitalization. Strong involvement from family and friends is crucial during this time of mourning. Some people enjoy doing activities with others that were similar to those that the couple had formerly engaged in together. However it would be a mistake to assume this for everyone. Just the thought of those activities may be way too painful for many to even comprehend. The main key, as with the passing of most loved ones, is just to be there for the widower. Try to make sure they stay active and reinforce how much they are loved, and just as importantly, needed.
3)Death of a parent
How does one deal with the passing of those who have raised and nurtured them. Dealing with the death of our parents is a deeply emotional ordeal. The death of our parents will always be a life-changing event. However with parents, many times we can handle death a little better. In most cases parents are well into their senior years and may be ill as well. As adults we start to slowly deal with reality of life and death. So while it will never be an easy event to deal with, it is usually "easier" with the death of an ill parent than it is to deal with an unforeseen accident. The other "type" of parent death occurs when the child or children are young. The early death of a parent can have crippling and often time lifelong ramifications, even with the aid of counseling. Young children, as well as those who are young adults, usually deal with great bouts of depression, brought on by feelings of guilt and abandonment. Regular counseling is recommended, along with strong family support and above all, understanding and patience. Children should be constantly reminded of just how much their parents loved them, and how every parent's ultimate dream and goal is to see their children happy and successful.
4)Death of a sibling
This is another particularly emotionally devastating death that can vary in intensity depending on when death takes place. This is not to say at all, that a siblings death at any time is not a traumatic and potentially life-altering event. What we mean to imply is that again children deal with death in different ways than do adults. When a sibling passes well into their senior years after an illness, it is often something for which we are prepared. This is of course very different than losing a sibling in childhood or even young adulthood to an unexpected event. The family dynamics also can play a huge part. To lose a younger sibling can be seen by some siblings as losing their child. Therefore, it can be almost be as soul-numbing an experience, as a parent losing a child. To lose a sibling can hurt in so many unique ways such as losing one's best friend, losing a confidant, or losing a parent-type figure. Guilt is usually the chief emotion experienced, especially with younger children. Paying attention to any new behaviors can be very important and should be monitored. And of course being there for them with love, understanding and patience is paramount.
5) Death of a Friend
Most times, especially in this society, the death of a friend is not seen as traumatic as that of an immediate family member. In times past, when most families stayed in very close proximity this was unquestioned. However, as time has moved on, more and more immediate family members have drifted apart, at least geographically. Some family members may not see each other for years. Now of course, by no means, does this diminish any deep-seated family love because as we know, family love can transcend space and time. This sometimes creates the need for "surrogate" family relationships in the form of friends. Friends often time take the place of brothers and sisters, not just as a physical stand-in but as emotional ones as well. Some people are not blessed to have a biological or adoptive family, thus friends are as close as any family members.
Some friends have been like brothers or sisters or moms and dads to others for many, many years. When someone in this position dies, the pain can be just as great as if they had biological or marital ties. Some people who have lost close friends sometimes deal with even greater pain, because they usually do not receive the same type of support as do people who have lost "family" members. People, who have lost close friends, often deal with many of the same emotional traumas as family members and need the same support and love. The fact is the death of people we have deep feelings for can be life-altering and a completely devastating time in any of our lives. Everyone who has lost someone they truly loved should receive unconditional love, support, compassion, understanding and patience regardless of their blood ties.
Family, friends, co-workers and associates all play a major role in the healing process. When you have to endure the loss of a loved one just look around to those people that are closest to you they will provide the support no matter the loss. If your loss seems like its too much then seeking professional counseling should be considered, aside from that your Funeral Director is also trained and can be an invaluable resource to assist in the healing process. To find a local funeral home use the search below. We hope this website helps in understanding your loss and in your healing process.