Overcome Death The death of a loved one is a painful process and is part of the natural cycle of life, because everything that lives will eventually die.
Therefore, pain is the most natural response to these situations. Losses that cause more frequent pain are separation of the couple , loss of a job, death or loss of a pet and the death of a loved one, whether the couple, a relative, a friend or a child.
Although anyone can experience pain, not all people are equal when it comes to dealing with grief. There are coping strategies that are adaptive and that will allow the overcoming of mourning, and other behaviors that can make it difficult to overcome it, making it easier for us to enter into a pathological duel.
It is likely that, at the death of a loved one, you experience many different reactions, some unexpected or unwanted (anxiety, sadness, easy crying …). Around you will find friends and family who want to help you, tell you their own experience, or explain how you are supposed to react and cope with your loss.
However, each person’s pain is unique, as are their reactions to the loss and coping strategies. It is common that you receive numerous clichés-based advice, such as “Cheer, you have to be strong!” Or “you should look forward and move on with your life.” It is less common for you to hear advice regarding the acceptance of your pain.
This is so because in the society we live death goes unnoticed, and away from our lives by the pain that produces the loss. We do not want to cry in front of other people, or show how we are really inside ourselves, even though death and pain before death are natural aspects of life.
You may feel overwhelmed, sad. It is expected that the pain will influence your way of thinking and seeing things. Perhaps the memory of your loved one is present in your mind most of the time, that you feel mental confusion, it costs you to concentrate or all the relationships with the person you have lost and the experiences that you had before his death.
These mental reactions are normal, so do not worry. They are nothing more than a show of affection and a psychological mechanism that will take you to your recovery.
You should keep in mind that it is also possible that the pain causes you to manifest some physical symptoms, such as a feeling of heaviness in the chest, tiredness, stomach discomfort, sleep disorders (sleeping more than usual or less), intestinal problems, dizziness, headache, restless breathing, or generalized anxiety. Think not only your mind, but your body is also reacting to your emotional pain.
In addition, you may manifest behavioral changes from the time of loss. You may experience nightmares, or sleep poorly. Do not be so persistent in the tasks, or do not feel like making efforts. Some people see the faces of their loved ones in the crowd, despite their death.
Moreover, there are many reactions that, as we have said before, each person chooses as a means to overcome the pain (such as being alone longer, even going to leave to not see people known). Luckily, these reactions are signs of the pain you are going through, and will eventually disappear and return to your usual behavior.
The stages of the duel
Pain is a feeling more, like fear, guilt , anger , or love; and will make you go through different stages in your grieving process until your complete recovery.
These steps are:
- The negation. This stage has the function of protecting the person from the pain he will experience by the loss.
- Anger . Feelings of acute pain, anger, anger, with the person who has died or with ourselves appear.
- The negotiation. It is a moment of negotiation with the reality and the life that you will live from now on. It is a normally short phase where the person tries, through negotiation, to alleviate the pain of loss.
- Depression . The confusion disappears, and feelings of sadness, depression, fear and uncertainty appear before the life.
- The acceptation. Upon reaching acceptance, the grieving process comes to an end. The person gets to accept the new reality, and goes ahead with much learning behind his back.
It is normal that we always remember our loved one, and that, in certain situations, we feel sadness or nostalgia. However, after some time, these typical feelings of mourning must be referred back to limited days or moments.
Sometimes, the pain of loss becomes constant and severe, preventing the person to continue with his life normally.
Some of the symptoms of pathological grief are:
- Intense desire and longing for the deceased.
- Intrusive thoughts or images of your loved one constantly.
- The denial of death or the sense of disbelief.
- Imagine that the deceased is alive.
- Find the person in known places.
- Avoid things that remind you of your loved one.
- extreme anger or bitterness over loss.
Tips for Overcoming the Death of Your Loved One
1. Take time to overcome the loss
There is no set time for overcoming a duel . It is important to know that each person has their own rhythm in overcoming emotional trauma, just as each person takes a different time to heal physical wounds. Be patient with yourself and do not demand deadlines, little by little you will find yourself better.
2. Accept what you feel
As we have already said, sadness, pain, anxiety and fear (among others) are normal reactions in situations of mourning. The first step to overcome the loss of your loved one is to accept that you have the right to feel pain for it.
Repressing these feelings will not do you any good, and will hinder your recovery, being able to even become complicated and become a pathological duel.
3. Seeks support in friends and family
The people closest to you will be happy to help you. On their part you can receive love, affection and understanding, and the company always comes very well in the face of hard times. Do not hesitate to ask for help if you need it.
However, you do not have to be accompanied if it is not what you want, nor make plans with people you do not want to be with. Allow yourself time alone if that is what you need, but do not stop leaning on those closest to you.
4. Talk about your loved one with friends and family
The death of a loved one does not mean that you should forget how important it was for you in your life. Many people confuse overcoming a loss by forgetting or pretending that they do not exist, but overcoming their death means accepting that the loved one is gone, knowing how important it was for us.
5. Try to maintain your habits and routines
An important part to accept that the deceased person is no longer, is to continue with your life with normality. The moment you find yourself a little better after the loss, go back to work (or class), go out with friends when you used to, etc.
It’s a good time to start new positive routines based on things you enjoy doing.
6. Take care and love yourself
For any type of recovery, it is always good to take care of yourself. Feed yourself well, soak up, pedinate, behave handsome, give yourself some whims (it’s a good time to pamper yourself a little: buy yourself that much you wanted, make your favorite dishes to eat …), salt more often with friends, travel or read. In short, do activities that you enjoy and maintain a healthy life. You will notice improvement immediately.
7. Practice a sport
Sport is a good natural antidepressant. When we exercise the body, we release endorphins, which are responsible for happiness.
At first it may cost a little and give you laziness, but the moment you start you will start to feel better about yourself, as well as being a good way to take care of yourself and stay healthy. Team sports are usually more fun and entertaining, but choose the one that you think you like and you will continue for a longer time.
8. Contact people who have lived the same as you
On many occasions, talking with people who have lived the same as you, helps to feel understood and less alone to feelings that are sometimes very difficult to explain to those who have not had the same experience.
Cases where the couple dies after fighting a disease, friends and relatives of people who are victims of terrorism or accidents, are some examples where talking to others with similar experiences can help.
9. Get ahead of key dates
Birthdays, anniversaries … Throughout the years there will be repeating dates that will remind you of your loved one and that can be an emotional shock.
Keep in mind that that day and some previous and / or later you may find yourself more sad or nostalgic than usual. It’s normal, but you can try to make plans to distract those days or stay with friends or family to support you in those moments.
10. Ask for psychological support
The help of a professional is always good in cases of emotional distress. It is not necessary for grief to turn into depression or pathological grief to attend a specialist. If you consider that you would overcome with greater ease your loss with the help of a psychologist, do not hesitate to find a professional and ask for an appointment.
However, it is true that, on some occasions, the pain, depression or anxiety experienced in the grieving process can become pathological and serious. You should seek psychological help if:
- You feel that living does not make sense.
- You wish you had died with your loved one.
- You blame yourself for the loss or for not preventing it.
- You feel numb and disconnected from others for more than a month.
- You have difficulty trusting the people around you because of your loss.
- You are unable to continue your usual routines for more than a few weeks.
The metaphor of the bird and the branch
Finally, we are going to tell you a little metaphor that shows very well the ideal relationship between ourselves and others, so that it can help you in focusing your relationships and prevent harsh processes of mourning.
Once upon a time there was a bird perched on a beautiful branch of a tree. This branch served as a support to rest, and also allowed him to see the landscape around him and protect himself from other animals that wanted to hunt him.
Also Read: What are self-injuries? (Psychology)
One day, a strong wind began to stir the branch, which was moving without stopping in all directions. The wind was blowing so hard, it seemed that the branch was going to break.
However, the bird was not at all worried, for it was aware of two truths: The first is that, even without the branch, it had the capacity to fly and thus to remain safe through the force that had in its wings; The second, which around it had many branches to lean on, and new horizons to discover in the branches that had yet to be posed.