Losing a son or daughter is devastating. The pain involved has an almost physical dimension to it. Down through the years and through every creed, race and community in both human and animal society it has a special sadness to it that no living thing will ever deny. The sombreness of the atmosphere and the sheer pain gives an even more poignant element to any commemoration. For this reason we here at FuneralSuggestions thought we would compile all of the best advice in the area and offer links to other sites where readers can immerse themselves in articles which are designed to help at this very painful time.
The five stages of loss with examples
The common understanding of grief is that it can operate in 5 unique stages. These are noted below;
1. Denial and isolation; This describes the period when you cannot accept the loss and are likely to distance yourself from anything that reminds you of it. In cases with children this can involve avoiding his or her friends.
2. Anger; This is a very common stage and can be seen in the sheer anger at the circumstances that led to the loss. Misplaced personal blame for the loss can be common in the loss of a son or daughter.
3. Bargaining; In many cases where grief is involved this is made up of “what if” thoughts. In cases of sons or daughters this can lead to an unhealthy analysis of their relationship with you as a parent.
4. Depression; Depression can be brought on by many elements of the fallout from losing someone close to you. In cases of sons or daughters you may feel that a part of you that you have spent years building and nourishing has been taken away from you. This realisation can take a long time to overcome.
5. Acceptance; This is where you accept the loss and come to terms with your life without the person.
The key thing to remember about these stages is that despite them sounding like stages it is is in fact more common that people actually go through them in a non linear fashion. People experience grief in different ways and some will see only some of these stages, for others the stages will occur at the same time and for others the stages will come and go in an alternating fashion. Differing losses, like losing a son or daughter, can lead to different grief paths. A perceived lack of progress can be the most distressing element of the entire experience and can lead to exhaustion and long term depression if help is not sought.
Finding helpful hands is all important at this stage. Family and friends can help but you need to be willing to ask and indeed tell them what you would like as they honestly may not know what is expected of them. Support groups may also help. These can help you through by sharing experiences which can help the process of coping with your own feelings. Reading online and researching grief can also help. If you don’t feel that you are making progress with any of the methods above it may help to get some professional help in the form of a grief counsellor or indeed a counsellor who specialises in the loss of children.
Looking after yourself during the period
This means being honest about emotions, expressing your emotions either verbally or by using your own creativity. It’s also very important to look after your physical health by continuing to exercise and eating healthily. While it may seem insignificant at the time it is important for your mental health to avoid poor health and a poor physical state. In all you need to take ownership of how you feel and the journey that your emotions will take you on.
When the grieving process goes on for longer than you expect
The grieving process is a very unique part of human life and we said previously it can vary dramatically from person to person. For some it will feel never ending and may in fact bring their lives down to the point where they need to seek professional help and support. We here at FuneralSuggestions would like to recommend the following articles to help you in your search for more tools and resources in getting through this very difficult period.
To find a local grief service access http://lifeline.serviceseeker.com.au and use ‘loss and grief’ or ‘bereavement’ as a search term (it can find services by State), then refer to the most local service.
Lifeline Crisis 131114 number,
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636.
The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement: 03 9265 2100.