“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.” – Headstone in Ireland
Tears that just don’t seem to stop, memories that keep ripping the heart, ripples of faith and hope together just yearn to live with your loved one for just another day… It is easier to die than to live and keep dying everyday in the memory of the loved one that demised. It’s sad but true folks, that life and death are the two sides of the same coin. In one moment you would be happily celebrating life with your loved ones, and another moment you would be left crying at the burial ground. Life’s like that… it’s a blend of smiles ‘n’ shadows. Day in and day out the world ceases for someone. Leaving this world and joining the celestial race may be difficult, but to be bereaved and staying back on earth is far more difficult. It is heart trenching, overwhelming and unless and until we get over the loss, it’s like living-but dying a new death every day. The whole thing is so complicated!
Bereavement leads to huge emotional pain, immense grief and sense of loss. It is very difficult to pacify the one who is bereaved. No words or actions can soothe the pain of getting bereaved. Bereavement has a lot of psychological and social impact associated with it. In some cases, it can lead to severe physical condition too.
Here is an overview of the effects of bereavement:
- Depression, Sadness, Grief
- Sense of loss
- Stress and feeling overwhelmed
- Anxiety and apprehension
- Lack of motivation
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), in some cases
- Problems in attention, memory, concentration, decision-making and other cognitive abilities
- Suicidal ideations and committing of suicide in worst cases
- Culture-specific stigma, taboo and discrimination
- Suffering caused due to social stereotypes and prejudice
- Loss of life, property and economic stability
- Social support system is affected and/or influenced
Other than that, bereavement can also affect you physically in the form of discomfort, medical conditions, changes in sleep-diet patterns, and so on. I know it is very difficult or may seem next to impossible to get over the loss or to get over bereavement. But, it is very necessary to deal effectively with bereavement. Otherwise, it may lead to even more problems in your life and the ones related to you. It is true that the one who is gone cannot be brought back, but we still need to live for him/her, at least to fulfill his/her expectations towards us…to fulfill his/her unfulfilled dreams. Following are some of the ways in which you can deal with bereavement and its multidimensional negative aftermath:
Do not shield or cocoon your emotions when you experience loss. It may lead to even more harm. It is ok to mourn and cry and let out the pent up emotions.
Try to share your feeling with the ones you can rely on. Try to talk to the persons who can emotionally support you or understand you.
Sometimes writing letters/writing down your feelings for the ones who left you helps a lot. It helps you express your feelings towards the person and also lightens you in the process.
Try to assemble photos/pictures of the ones you lost. Keeping a memory diary or a scrapbook of the good times spent with the person will make you feel better. It will also motivate you to live life with a purpose, to live life for others and the way he/she wanted you to live.
You are not alone… There are many people who would be sailing in the same boat as yours. Try to find out support groups and forums where you can join others. Sharing and caring together heals unfathomable wounds effectively.
If you feel that you are sinking into deep psychological, physical, social problems then taking professional help would be a good step. Your life is also precious; you need to take care of it too.
“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose, comes round in another form” – Rumi