Why Dealing With Grief Can Be Complicated

In our lifetime, all of us will, unfortunately, experience grief from a loved one passing. Dealing with grief is a very personal experience, and people deal with sadness and loss differently. There are standard phases of grief, but mental health experts do not have exact timeframes for those of us going through it. In essence, there is no real answer to how much time must pass before grief is lessened.

Understanding the overall process of grief can be helpful when going through it. It can also be comforting to know that you are not alone when someone you love passes. There are support groups, like Heartlinks Grief Center, available to anyone suffering from loss. In most cases, feelings of sadness and depression ease and it’s possible to acknowledge the loss felt, moving beyond the pain.

The Mayo Clinic recommends being aware of the following stages when experiencing grief and loss. They note that timing and order of the emotions may differ, since individuals experience loss in ways that are very personal.

Acceptance of reality and realizing a loved one is gone.

Coming to terms with death can be very challenging. Your loved one may have been struggling with pain and suffering for quite some time, and you may feel some relief knowing that he/she is no longer hurting. If you were the main caregiver, coming to terms with your role being diminished can feel unsettling and scary. Accepting loss and growing accustomed to a life without someone special is a big adjustment.

Pain after loss.

Typically, once the individual accepts loss, it’s time to begin to grieve and feel the pain associated with losing someone you loved. There is an adjustment period with less to do and more time to think, especially in cases where a loved one’s illness may have been the center of your day-to-day routine. During this time, most of us feel deep pain and loss because we’re adjusting to change and a new daily life.

The path of adjustment.

As families and friends continue to adjust, this can take time. A new life without a special person in it can be quite difficult for many of us. Each stage can affect everyone differently, and some people may be able to adjust easier than others. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. It’s important that as time passes, the pain begins to diminish, and the sadness becomes less intense. In some cases, individuals struggle with moving from one stage to another and can experience complicated grief. If you believe your grief is not improving after one year of your loved one’s death, it’s important to seek medical treatment for help.

Building new relationships.

With time, the pain from loss does shrink but, in most cases, is not totally forgotten. We’ll remember a special song or a vacation, and those happy memories can cause pain that may happen out of nowhere! Reminiscing that causes grief, even if several years have passed, is normal. As long as you have continued to build new relationships, make new memories and come to terms with your loss, you will eventually find peace.

Family Hospice is a non-profit, independent healthcare organization that helps guide patients and families through their journey, providing professional care, medications, equipment, supplies and many other support services. Heartlinks Grief Center, a Family Hospice program, also offers grief counseling services for all ages. To make a donation to or to learn about Family Hospice, please call (618) 277-1800. You can also learn more about Family Hospice by following them on Facebook or visiting them online at https://familyhospice.org/. You DO have a choice in which hospice care provider you choose!



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