Any loss is a process that suddenly puts us outside our comfort zone. This is really the underlying issue that shakes up everyday reality. It represents a sense of destabilization that in a moment will produce a perception that everything that is habitual is about to change .
Typically, for the mind accustomed to functioning autonomously , this produces an unpleasant sensation. We are getting in touch with uncertainty, which is the acquisition of the awareness that we are in a new field in which we do not know how to handle ourselves nor do we have the certainty that we will know how to do it. Things happen to a point where they stop being the way they usually did , and we have to help that doesn’t hurt us any more.
Despite everything, this factor is unavoidable in life . No matter how much we try, we are not in a position to control everything. This is why living in uncertainty with a certain degree of comfort, with confidence, without fear or in spite of it, is the great learning of any life.
Go through a grieving process
In any loss you go through a grieving process. By this means, there is a transition from what was to what will be, always keeping in mind what is happening in the present . Life is always a way forward. It never backs down; at most it can stagnate , but it doesn’t stop.
The thing to keep in mind is that the reconstruction of the person after a loss process will never place them in the same place they were . It is not a restoration of the previous conditions . Nor does it mean that we have to stop being who we were before, we only change what we have been to express ourselves in new ways, to adopt new values and take a different perspective . This is what makes us take different paths and give new meaning to our lives because losing does not mean being lost . In fact, it means being very alive, as the psychologist Fernando Recondo affirms in his book ‘GuíaBurros: How to cope with a loss’ .
If there is one thing we can be completely sure of, it is that sooner or later we will experience a loss . Especially when we consider that certain processes, such as life itself, are destined to have an end .
Death, that moment so feared
Death is the great taboo in much of civilization, especially in the West. We don’t think about it and try as much as possible to avoid talking about it. It is curious that the only certainty of human life is something that is not expressed. Death gives us a meaning that we tend to reject because it leads us to a part of our reality that we find difficult to assume.
But there is a reality that is unquestionable and that is that, within that idea of the ephemeral inherent in the human condition, we leave a mark on the nearby environment . There are people who, due to family ties, as a couple, friendship or any other place they occupy in life, are so significant that their presence matters, and at some point in life we are going to go through the trance of seeing how some of they die.
It is in these moments of farewell in which death becomes real , present and undeniable, when we go through situations in which we are faced with a fact that, not because it is natural, does not stop marking a relevant point in the history of our lives. lives. The sensations that accompany the departure of a loved one are always surrounded by a disturbed emotional field.
How we manage emotions, how we give expression to all the sensations and thoughts associated with the presence of this death that appears, will depend on the way in which life will continue from there. To be able to let go, to let go, to open a space for pain and its manifestation and, furthermore, to be able to take sides for life in the presence of death.
Stages of grief
Although a grieving process is really done in any type of loss, we associate it especially with the presence of death events. We each have our times for everything and especially for such intense processes , but it is very important to put ourselves in the state that allows us to live them and be aware of them, because they are going to be present with or without their conscience .
The duel is always done, sometimes long after it was due, as in the case of an entrenched duel. We cannot, even if we want to, make a detour: the issue can only be resolved by crossing it, like any other . It is possible that due to circumstances we do not feel prepared, usually due to a feeling that this pain will not be able to be sustained . But the only real way to help end the pain is to start by accepting it .
These stages are not necessarily chronological . They can alternate and even occur two or more together at the same time. It is a process that, although we are accompanied, we are going to do for ourselves, to help ourselves. It is personal and individual and is not subject to patterns, but will depend on each person.
Nor does it have a specific duration, although one year is considered a reference period , since during it the four seasons will be relived again, the dates that were significant and finally the anniversary of the departure . It is a period in which we become aware of those issues related to that game in which we get hooked.
- Initial shock
This leads to the denial of what happened. For this reason, in the case of long-term illnesses or terminally ill patients , this phase usually begins at the time of diagnosis. The feeling that we are not in control is the work of the mind , which starts to rationalize something to which it will not be able to find a solution.
Death confronts us with the socially hidden reality that we do not control, that things can happen that we cannot handle or, of course, solve. We have been educated to buy security and not to live accompanied by an uncertainty that, no matter how much we deny, will always be present. Staying busy is a way out of the process that is opening up . It doesn’t help because we will also have trouble concentrating.
It usually follows the initial shock immediately and shares time and expression with it . The need to rationalize and understand to find an acceptable explanation for what is happening increases. It is only a hope, death is not something to be understood , but something to be allowed to feel.
It is a time when important contradictions can occur, which we think are not natural or acceptable, such as feeling pain and relief at the same time . In an environment of overwhelmed emotions, we can go through various states in a short period of time. The entry into suffering comes from thoughts that if I stop suffering, it will be a sign that I do not care , which is false and only connects us with judgments and beliefs about ourselves that do not help.
- The sorrow
Allowing yourself to enter into grief opens the final part of the process . Sometimes we need to pretend that we are fine so that we can carry it more easily. When we act with the intention of recovery, and this happens through the acceptance of how we find ourselves before anything else, we begin to go back. Always leaving out the feeling of guilt that only helps justification.
It is time to give room to the expression of pain, which is the only thing that really allows to alleviate the pain , understanding that alleviating only means being able to live with it while it is present. The only real and honest way to go through grief is to recognize it , accept it and give it the space that it is claiming from us.
The moment when everything begins to settle comes inadvertently ; awareness is gradual, until we feel that something that hurt us is gone. It is the moment when we feel that we can continue making our life , and we probably understand that it is no longer the same. The clearest sign of having reconciled with that death is to feel that we can hold the memories and understand them with love and from happiness.
We can be grateful for what it was, celebrate life, help learning . Grief ends when we can be at peace with what is already past, integrate it into our lives and move on with what has taken on new meanings.
Guidelines to follow
- Every death opens a grieving process that will develop sooner or later.
- Death confronts us with the reality of its existence and the fantasy behind security and control.
- A field has to be opened in which to express emotions .
- The presence of contradictory emotions at the same time is normal .
- It is important to realize the ways in which we try to avoid expressing ourselves, and thereby flee from the reality of what is happening.
- Everything begins to settle when we can live in peace with the past .
- Getting over the death of a loved one does not mean never forgetting . There are a lot of good memories that deserve to be preserved.