Ms. Jennifer Flynn
29 October 2014
Coping with the loss of a loved one
If you’ve lost a grandparent, a pet, a job, or had to move, you have experienced loss and grief and the associated stress. However, when a person experiences extraordinary stress, the normal coping mechanisms are not enough. As a result, when a person experiences a loss beyond the normal stresses and conflicts of life, they subconsciously begin to cycle through various methods of coping, trying to find one that works better. Half of dealing with grief is recognizing this cycling process, which occurs over and over again and working through the pain that accompanies it. The other half consists of ...view middle of the document...
Moreover, by nature, everyone has multiple ways to cope with any problem. While everyone has heard of the "Flight or Fight" alternatives, there are actually about nine methods of coping used by people, each with a typical type of action and an associated mental state. These are Attack, Fleeing, Denial, Dithering, Co-option, Analysis, Action, Appeasement and Anguish. People who have suffered catastrophic loss will experience all of the above states and methods over and over again in their lives, almost randomly, until the pain decreases. It is important to understand that these steps associated with grief and mourning can afflict everyone, not just those with "serious" losses. While these steps are caused by the constant cycling of coping mechanisms, these steps occur, to some extent, in every life when loss occurs.
Unfortunately, either through ignorance or self-centeredness and pettiness there are people who say things that actively harm people who are grieving. For examples some of those comments are "Your loved one is in a better place." "You just need to work harder and take your mind off of it." The problem in grief is not that the loss is permanent, but that the pain is severe and continuing. In addition people who have lost a loved one operate at about 10% to 15% of
their normal capacity for at least six months. Suggesting that the person "do more" when they can actually do 85% less is insisting that the person do things that gratify others, often at the expense of whatever energy the person has to care for their family and remaining loved ones.
In spite of it all, it is possible to cope. You, your family and others can all do things that will help you make it through the loss of a loved one or other significant loss in shape to make a better tomorrow and able to care for those who remain. For family members, the pain is never cured but there are steps you can take to lessen them. For example, keep moving forward. If you stop, everything stops with you. You have living friends and family as well as those who have died. It may seem impossible, but the sooner you can return to your day to day activities, the sooner your mind will start to focus on healing. Find a safe places to express your rage, fear, pain, hurt, rejection and confusion. You will have all of those emotions, with...