Throughout life, holidays are spent with relatives or people who you have close emotional connections. Holidays magnify the loss. So, it’s natural that the absence of a loved one can make holidays a very difficult time, especially since the death of a loved one interrupts this ritual in ways that will never be repeated. It’s only natural that the absence of a loved one can make holidays a very difficult time. Memories of a deceased loved one are not erased with their transition. Love is forever. The first year that my father passed was hard. But the love and support that my family gave each other are what got us through. His spirit was still there.
ARE THERE DIFFERENT STAGES OF GRIEVING?
Yes. You may feel all kinds of strange and unexpected emotions. I believe that denial, shock, anger, bargaining, guilt, and finally, acceptance is part of this process or stages experienced when learning to live without a deceased loved one. Other normal reactions also include physical effects that disrupt sleep; cause increased or decreased appetites, or even temporarily interference with the ability to think clearly.
HOW LONG DOES THE GRIEF OF LOSING A LOVED ONE LAST?
There is no right or wrong way to grieve. I believe that grieving in some form last for the life of the loved one left behind. Fortunately, you reach a point of acceptance and develop coping skills to deal with the absence of your loved one. But I don’t believe that the pain of loss ever completely goes away. Closure really means acceptance and letting go.
WHAT ARE SIGNS OF GRIEVING?
Physical expressions of grief may include crying, loss of appetite or increased appetite, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, stress, sadness, and yearning. However, if after one year you are still experiencing impaired functioning, this may be depression. The symptoms are very similar. Then professional help from a clinician or through pastoral counseling is advised.
HOW SHOULD I MANAGE GRIEF?
You must make your health and wellness a priority — getting more grounded in the present and looking forward to the future. Meditate, pray, exercise. Surround yourself with positive people who will support you through this process.
HOW DO YOU SUPPORT SOMEONE WHO IS GRIEVING?
Be a good listener. Accept their mood swings. Listen without judgment. Ask them what they need or how you can support them. Make yourself available. Do not say ‘call me if you need anything’. Try to anticipate their needs and be available to help. Be a friend.