You never stop missing your loved one, but the pain eases after time and allows you to go on with your life.
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It is not easy to cope after a loved one dies. You will mourn and grieve. Mourning is the natural process you go through to accept a major loss.
Mourning may include religious traditions honoring the dead or gathering with friends and family to share your loss. Mourning is personal and may last months or years.
What Is Grief?
Grieving is the outward expression of your loss. Your grief is likely to be expressed physically, emotionally, and psychologically. For instance, crying is a physical expression, while depression is a psychological expression. It is very important to allow yourself to express these feelings. Often, death is a subject that is avoided, ignored or denied. At first it may seem helpful to separate yourself from the pain, but you cannot avoid grieving forever.
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Someday those feelings will need to be resolved or they may cause physical or emotional illness. Many people report physical symptoms that accompany grief. Stomach pain, loss of appetite, intestinal upsets, sleep disturbances and loss of energy are all common symptoms of acute grief. Of all life's stresses, mourning can seriously test your natural defense systems.
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Existing illnesses may worsen or new conditions may develop. Profound emotional reactions may occur. These reactions include anxiety attacks, chronic fatigue, depression and thoughts of suicide. An obsession with the deceased is also a common reaction to death.
The death of a loved one is always difficult. Your reactions are influenced by the circumstances of a death, particularly when it is sudden or accidental. Your reactions are also influenced by your relationship with the person who died.
A child's death arouses an overwhelming sense of injustice — for lost potential, unfulfilled dreams and senseless suffering. Parents may feel responsible for the child's death, no matter how irrational that may seem. Parents may also feel that they have lost a vital part of their own identity. A spouse's death is very traumatic.
Grieving Before A Death: Understanding Anticipatory Grief
In addition to the severe emotional shock, the death may cause a potential financial crisis if the spouse was the family's main income source. The death may necessitate major social adjustments requiring the surviving spouse to parent alone, adjust to single life and maybe even return to work. Elderly people may be especially vulnerable when they lose a spouse because it means losing a lifetime of shared experiences.
At this time, feelings of loneliness may be compounded by the death of close friends.
A loss due to suicide can be among the most difficult losses to bear. They may leave the survivors with a tremendous burden of guilt, anger and shame. Survivors may even feel responsible for the death. Seeking counseling during the first weeks after the suicide is particularly beneficial and advisable. Coping with death is vital to your mental health. It is only natural to experience grief when a loved one dies. The best thing you can do is allow yourself to grieve. There are many ways to cope effectively with your pain. Find relatives and friends who can understand your feelings of loss.
Join support groups with others who are experiencing similar losses. Express your feelings. Tell others how you are feeling; it will help you to work through the grieving process. Take care of your health. Maintain regular contact with your family physician and be sure to eat well and get plenty of rest. Be aware of the danger of developing a dependence on medication or alcohol to deal with your grief.
Every Loss is a Partial Loss of Who You Are
Accept that life is for the living. It takes effort to begin to live again in the present and not dwell on the past. Postpone major life changes. This is normal. Sometimes the feelings last longer, or you may have trouble dealing with your emotions. When this happens, grief can turn into depression. The symptoms of grief and depression are similar. Signs that you could be depressed include:. Your family doctor can help you treat your depression so you can start to feel better. He or she can also help you figure out what other kind of support you need.
This could include a support group, individual therapy, or medicine. National Institutes of Health, U.
Grieving vs. Mourning
National Library of Medicine, Grief. Last Updated: July 25, This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject. Helping your child deal with the death of a loved one, friend, or pet takes many simple, honest discussions…. Teen suicide is an act often caused by depression. Talk and watch your teen to detect signs of the….
Visit The Symptom Checker. Read More. Managing Daily Stress. Therapy and Counseling. Generalized Anxiety Disorder. People grieve for many different reasons, including: Death of a loved one, including pets. Divorce or changes in a relationship, including friendships. Changes in your health or the health of a loved one.
Losing a job or changes in financial security. Changes in your way of life, such as during retirement or when moving to a new place. Grief is different for everyone.
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It can include many emotional and physical symptoms, including: Feelings: Anger, anxiety, blame, confusion, denial, depression, fear, guilt, irritability, loneliness, numbness, relief, sadness, shock, or yearning.
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