Overcoming the loss of a loved one is one of the saddest and most painful situations we have to face in life. The death of a brother, a close friend or a partner, among many others, can cause a person very intense sadness, unbearable pain, etc.

The intensity of this pain varies from person to person, as does what it feels like and how long it lasts. But it is necessary to go through it, since it is a sign of having begun an individual and inevitable process of assimilation of the loss. This process is known as grief.

What is grief?

Grief is a natural process that everyone goes through when they lose a loved one , since it has an adaptive function , that is, it helps us overcome the loss and adapt to life without that person.

As a general rule, grief does not need professional intervention, since as we have said before it is a natural process. But in some cases the person does not have the necessary resources to overcome the situation, whether physical or psychological; in that case, the intervention of a specialist would be recommended to help you cope with the loss of your loved one.

What do we feel when we are in mourning?

Each person is different and has different resources to overcome the loss of a loved one, so not everyone feels the same. Even so, here are a series of symptoms that most people who are in the process of mourning have:

– Feeling of guilt about the death: the person feels that they could have prevented it or that it is their fault.

– High levels of rage, anger, sadness, nostalgia , etc.

– Feeling of loneliness and abandonment: You feel that since your loved one has left, you are alone.

– Dreams about the deceased .

– Constant wishes to cry and constant thoughts about the deceased.

– Anxiety and a feeling similar to having depression .

– Social isolation and abandonment of social relationships .

– You can also suffer physical symptoms such as: loss of appetite, muscle weakness, lack of energy, insomnia and pressure in the chest, among many others.

It should be noted that these symptoms are the most repeated in people who are going through grief, but that does not mean that everyone has them. Each person experiences their grief individually and differently. For example, while some seek to be in continuous contact with objects of the deceased to keep them more present, others move away and avoid remembering them so as not to suffer.

What are the phases of grief?

Overcoming the death of a loved one goes through different phases , which are important to know, since they help the affected person to understand their pain and what is happening, to better manage the situation and to obtain resources for coping:

– Numbness phase , also called ” shock ”: This phase is characterized by denial of death, anger and non-acceptance of loss. Some psychologists divide this phase into two different ones:

Denial : In which the person denies what happened, wants it to be just a nightmare and does not admit reality.

Anger : After not being able to deny the fact, the person becomes angry, it may be with himself, with the deceased, with the rest, etc.

– Phase of yearning, search and negotiation : In this phase the affected person feels a great sense of nostalgia and looks for the person who has died. In this phase it is also common to present some physical restlessness and continuous thoughts about death.

– Phase of hopelessness and disorganization : In this phase there is a feeling similar to depression, in which the person shows apathy, sadness, indifference, insomnia, feeling of having lost the will to live, loss of appetite, physical and mental fatigue , etc. To all this are added constant thoughts about the deceased.

– Phase of reorganization and acceptance: In this phase the person begins to resume his life, thoughts of sadness are changed by happy memories of the deceased person, etc.

It must be borne in mind that the grieving process is not a linear process and it takes time, the person can go back and return to a previous phase. This is not a bad thing, it just means that you need more time to come to terms with the loss.

How can I get over the loss of a loved one?

It is very important that after the loss of a loved one we all experience our grief. Here we leave you a series of tips that you can follow if you see that you do not have the necessary resources or need a push to overcome it, although it is important that you keep in mind that in this case it is recommended that you go to a specialist.

– Go to the ceremonies and participate in them : When it comes to overcoming the death of a loved one, it can be very useful to go to the funeral, the farewell ceremonies, the burial, etc. Since in this type of event you say goodbye to said person, you see that you are not alone in this process, you honor his memory, etc.

– Talk about his death if you need to: Sometimes it can be helpful to tell how his loss was, talk about what you feel, vent, etc.

– Write how your process is : If you do not want to talk about the subject, you can also write about it privately, about the deceased person, about what you feel, how it was, etc.

– Take care of yourself : Don’t forget about yourself, eat healthy, exercise, sleep the necessary hours, etc. This will help you get over it and move on.

– Express what you feel : Do not contain your feelings, express them and unburden yourself. If you need to cry, cry, don’t hold back. Do not be overwhelmed if it is difficult or if memories continually come to you, it is normal, little by little the pain will diminish.

– Organize your time : Do not stop doing your daily routines and plan outings that can make you disconnect.

– Do something in his memory : Doing something in memory of the deceased person can be very useful, create an album to remember him, write a poem, a song or a letter in his honor, etc.

– Join a support group: In these types of situations a support group can be of great help, since you will connect with people who are going through the same thing as you, you will see that you are not alone in the process, you will share experiences and you will feel understood.

– Ask for help if necessary : If you see that it is very difficult for you, ask for help from your parents, professionals, etc. You don’t have to deal with the pain on your own. 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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