Coping with Loss & Grief
Module 1 page 2
"Grief is the agony of an instant; the indulgence of grief the blunder of a life." -Benjamin Disrael
When people develop good relationships they naturally move toward the continuing development of all that life has to offer.
Most people plan for more than they can squeeze into their lives
When loss occurs, especially death, it painfully interrupts our thinking, living and growing process. Without realising it, victims of loss often begin to develop patterns of faulty thinking which will lead them to detour from their life's potential. No matter how long you know in advance, you're not ready when severe loss comes upon you.
Although no one is ever really ready for a loss, there are some practical concepts which will help to make adjustments easier and will protect against the conception of faulty thinking patterns
Let People Into Your Life
Now this may not be as easy as it sounds. Self-revelation is psychological undressing. Revealing yourself to others can make you feel self conscious and vulnerable. However, only when the trappings and masks that hide you from others are removed can people come to understand who you really are, and it is only then that they can really give you their love and care where it is most needed ... the inner self; the real you.
The problem is that most people don't know how to move into a victim's painful territory. If one is not prepared to let down the barricades around the inner self then hidden feelings cannot be revealed and needed genuine sympathy and support is inhibited or even prevented.
What is needed above all else is patient listening. To be able to listen carefully is the mark of true friendship. However some losses are too painful for the sufferer to bring up in conversation and a meaningful dialogue needs to be skillfuly initiated.
Learn to Value Yourself as a Person
Until you know your worth and feel good about yourself, you will not feel comfortable about people knowing who you are. A major loss can have a dramatic effect upon one's self-esteem. Restoration of one's inner worth is much easier if the self-esteem is strong before the loss.
Develop Your Inner Person
People spend a great amount of time during life to develop their visible image. But, how much of life is spent developing the inner person? In a loss it is the inner person that takes the hammering and suffers the pain.
Developing the inner person is a life-long process. Your inner person is the sum total of the personal investment you have made in yourself. You need to be a person in you own right. Our interests need to uniquely our own and not be tied to another person
We need to have developed so much within us that we do not die with the death of a loved one.
Learn to be Independent
To be overly dependent upon a loved one will inevitably lead to floundering amid unfamiliar responsibilities by the grieving one at the loss of a loved one, especially if that person is a spouse. This creates anxiety which can lead to illness.
Independence should be learnt and practiced as a regular growing habit so that when a major loss occurs, floundering is reduced to a minimum.
Practice independence as a regular growing habit
Husbands and wives too often develop sets of unhealthy dependencies on each other. A large number of older men who leave the family finances, the cooking and washing/ironing entirely to their wives, often have great difficulty in adjusting when they are widowed. The frustration of trying to learn 'on the run' while endeavouring to cope with grief and loneliness leads to many of symptoms of anxiety.
Take Time to Do Things Together
Those who put a lot of living into life and bring meaning into the lives of others through unconditional love, tenderness and expressions of appreciation generally find it easier to make a re-entry back into life after experiencing a major loss.
Playing and doing things together, with copious quantities of shared laughter and leisure time, means fewer regrets and easier adjustment after a death.