Loss and Grief

Listen

The loss of a person close to us, a family member, friend, or colleague is extremely hard and painful. It is natural for our lives to be different during these periods than at other times. If you have lost a person close to you, you might still be showing some of the emotional, mental, and behavioral symptoms below:

  • You might feel very lonely and helpless in the pain you experience.
  • You might refuse to believe that s/he has passed away.
  • You might blame yourself or others.
  • You might feel remorse for things you have done or not done by constructing sentences that begin with “if only”s.
  • You might feel dejected and feel like there is no future left.
  • You might have difficulties in concentration; suffer from confusion, or forgetfulness.
  • You might feel like your mind is completely empty.
  • You might not be able to concentrate on your work.
  • You might feel that your senses have numbed or eroded.
  • There might be a feeling of a knot in your throat, and you might be unable to cry.
  • It might anger you that people who do not share your loss act normally.
  • There might be disruptions in your sleep and eating schedules.
  • You might be tense physically and experience sudden starts.
  • You might drift away from people or become estranged.
  • You might think of your own death and become fearful.
  • You might feel constantly tired, nervous, and anxious.
  • All sorts of events, such as a name, a sight or anything else might remind you of your loss.

All of these feelings, thoughts, and behavioral responses are very normal and the universal ways in which people all over the world respond to loss. These responses are products of the ways of we deal with loss. They might last for a month with varying intensities. If they are severe to the degree where they prevent you from functioning in daily life, and if they are increasing in intensity, you might benefit from seeking the help of a counselor. During this period, try to follow the recommendations below, even if they seem really hard: 

  • Try to return to your daily routines as early as possible (work life, daily routine activities, etc.)
  • If possible, let oxygen enter your system by taking short walks during the day to breathe in clean air, or breathe deeply from your nose and exhale from your mouth. Oxygen will alleviate your tension and distress.
  • Do your best to pay attention to your eating habits. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of water.
  • Do activities that generally make you feel good, even if you do not feel inclined to do them. It might be listening to music you enjoy, or exercising.
  • Stay away from alcohol and drugs not prescribed by your doctor.
  • Do not make decisions that change life drastically during this period, such as changing jobs, or ending a relationship.
  • Speak with your friends and family, and share your feelings. Sharing will help you relax.
  • Respect yourself. It will take a while for your pains to become bearable.
  • Mourning for loss is your most natural right.