Understanding yourself and others during the grieving process

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Senior-Grieving

Losing a loved one is perhaps one of the hardest things you will experience in your lifetime. As you begin to age, you realize more and more how valuable the months, days and minutes truly are. You might also learn to appreciate and hold on to the beautiful memories you’ve had and any experiences yet to come.

Are you currently experiencing or anticipating a loss in your life? There’s no doubt about it: it will be hard. How are you and those around you taking it? It’s important to keep in mind that people grieve in many different ways. You might need to express and talk about your feelings, while others might want to deal with it internally.

You might see a loved one who appears to not be affected by the situation at all, when in fact they are taking it very hard. Try not to take it personally or think that they do not care as much as you do. They probably do, but need to deal with it in their own way.

Five common ways people deal with grief:

  1. Anger – Some people get very upset about what’s happening and can take it out on others. Some might just be angry about the situation. This way of grieving can be hard for others to understand, but it is common – especially when sudden death is a factor.
  1. Acceptance – There are some people that can deal with the situation at hand without getting too upset, instead they accept what has happened and try to move on. This way of grieving is common when a death occurs with years of warning or preparation.
  1. Denial – It may take longer for some to accept and realize that something has really happened and that their life may be affected by it. Sometimes denial is the first phase of the grieving process.
  1. Reaching out – Many people need the support of others in order to cope with loss. Perhaps they just want someone to be in the same room, hug or reminisce with.
  1. Avoidance – This grieving process goes along with denial. Avoiding the entire situation might be their way of getting through it. You might think they are unemotional or that they don’t care, when it might be the exact opposite.

Whether you deal with an emotional situation by taking charge, avoiding or accepting, all of these strategies might be the best for you personally. However, keep in mind that others might be dealing with it in a different way. Try to be patient and understanding with yourself and others.

Remember to talk with your doctor if you are feeling depressed or are having problems coping with the death of a loved one.

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