Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Coping with the loss of a loved one

How do you deal with the loss of a loved one, mentor, or anyone who was close to you at some point in your life? Is there a right way or a wrong way? What if your beliefs are not the same as the person who passed away? And are we ever prepared for the death of someone we know, whether it was anticipated (cancer, terminal illness, etc.) or unexpected (car accident, shooting, etc.)?

There are so many questions, yet I’m not sure there is a correct answer for any of them. Everyone grieves in their own way and offers their love, prayers, thoughts, or whatever belief system you follow to the family who has lost a loved one. No matter if a person is prepared or not for a loved one’s death, it is never easy to cope with. According to experts there are four to five ways people grieve: denial, anger, bargaining (the what if stage), depression, & acceptance. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, we are all unique and may not go through all the stages or in any particular order.

Over the years I have seen people grieve in many ways, through celebrations of life, traditional services, crying, laughing, isolating/internalizing. Overall the best form is to aim for the acceptance stage and if that means crying and talking to family & friends for hours or days; then so be it because in the end it is what will work best for you to deal with the loss.

Having recently (this morning) been told about the loss of someone who I only knew for a short time, but was like a mentor and grandfather figure to me; caused great pain despite knowing his battle with cancer the past few months. When I was first told I choked up, yet now I find myself in the avoidance stage; not wanting to accept the reality & instead staying busy here at work. I know I will go through the other stages, but for now I remain occupied and fill my mind with the tasks that lay before me until I am ready to move forward to the next stage.

Until next time!

Joey McIntosh

“The loss of a loved one is one of the most tragic and devastating things a person could endure; and everyone copes differently. Some cry for the loss of a loved one others smile because they know they'll see them again.” – Author Unknown

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