The loss of my father at the age of 10 had a profound effect on my life for many years. I didn’t attend the funeral for many reasons such as my own fear of death, feeling that I would not be able to cope and not wanting to put any added stress on my mother. This led to me to never fully completing my own grief. I had no closure and no chance to say goodbye.
I was unaware at the time how much this would impact my life well into the future. How it would be the reason for relationship break downs and loss of friends. Subconsciously whenever a loss would occur within my life l would be effected by the death of my father over and over again.
After many years of railing against my own fear of letting go, I finally reached out for support. I learned to grasp the complexity of it and then let go of my fear. By learning to deal the loss of my father I can live my life whole-hearted and find peace when loss occurs throughout my life.
Grief is experienced by most of us at some time in our lives. It can affect us in many situations including divorce and separation, onset of chronic illness, loss of a body part, miscarriage, job loss, severe injury, when a child leaves home or when a friend moves away.
Whatever the cause, grief is normal, natural, painful and takes time to heal. Below is the process of dealing with grief:
T= To accept the reality of the loss
E= Experience the pain of the loss
A= Adjust to the new environment without the lost person
R= Reinvest in the new reality
Grief will affect your feelings, such as shock, sadness, anger and guilt. Your thoughts will be affected such as disbelief, poor concentration, preoccupation with the deceased, also your behaviour will be effected, you will cry, sleep or your appetite will change. You may also withdrawal socially.
The emotional process of recovering from grief is different for everyone. While everyone has their path of dealing with grief, it’s important to have support and someone to talk to. If grief gets in the way of how you want to live your life, then it’s important to get professional help.