Health Tips: How To Cope With Death
The purpose of writing this article is because everyone in their life time will have to deal this demon we call “death”. And it is my hope that when they go down this healing road of grief that they will receive a ray of hope from something that was said in this article.
People when they were young seemed to convince themselves that they were invincible and indestructible; or that’s the way we thought. But when it came to experiencing the death of a loved one, we lacked the experience and the knowledge how to handle this demon called “death”.
Definition of Death
The American Heritage dictionary defines death as:
- the act of dying; termination of life. The state of being dead. The termination or extinction of something
The Fear of Death
When someone close to you dies, you might experience a variety of emotions, some of which may include utter shock, disbelief, numbness, sadness, anger or loneliness. Everyone reacts to loss differently, and it’s normal to experience a variety of emotions when someone close to you passes on. This is what is known as a grieving process. The is the initial process that you go through during this time, and it is important that you take care of yourself because you are at a delicate state of mind and emotions.
Shock and disbelief
It’s normal to feel a sense of shock when someone close to you dies. You might experience shock through physical and emotional reactions to things that might not normally bother you. You could experience the feelings of being dizzy, nauseous, numb or even an empty feeling inside your gut . Shock may cause some people to react in an unusual way when they first hear the news of a death. For example, some people may laugh uncontrollably and others may cry non stop. Shock is different for everyone and may last for a couple of days or even weeks.
Now the best thing that you can do for yourself when loosing a loved one at this point, is talk to a close friend, or talk to counselor or another mental health professional who can help you process what’s happening and why you have the feelings and reactions that you do.
Sometimes Shock may also mean that you feel nothing when you hear of the loss of someone. Our bodies sometimes as a way of coping with the devastating news of a loss your feelings may become that of numbness, a lack of emotion. It may not even feel real to you and that you must be dreaming. Sometimes this can make it hard to cry or feel any sort of sad emotions, but shortly over time you are likely to start having other emotions hit you.
As the shock and numbness wears off, you’ll probably start getting feelings of grief. Everybody grieves differently and unique factors may affect the way that you cope with it.. Knowing the factors that affect the grieving process you now can be able to accept help from a professional counselor or mental health professional that can help you understand your reaction (and others’ reactions) to your loss. Below I have listed just a few reasons why I believe people grieve differently:
- Relationship with the person who has died.
- Previous losses that repeatedly keep resurfacing due to a current loss ,
- Age. Children of course react differently at understand death differently. Younger children may not understand that a person who has died isn’t coming back. Older children, on the other hand, understand that the person isn’t coming back, but may not understand why they won’t be seeing them again.
- Men and Women. Men and women have different ways of managing their grief. Men are more likely to feel restrained and might feel the need to show that they are in control of their emotions and feelings. The old myth that real men don’t cry in a mental state has been more damaging than those who have expressed their hurt and feeling through crying. Also they are more likely to be physically active in their journey of grief. Now women are more likely to want to share their feelings with others by talking their emotions and feelings with someone they feel comfortable with. This may mean they talk about what is happening or cry more openly than men do.
- Cultural background. Some cultural groups express grief in different ways due to their traditions and beliefs. The rituals, ceremonies and rules around what is considered respectful mourning may vary depending on your cultural background. Crying and showing lots of emotion in public does not necessarily mean that someone is weak and isn’t coping well with grief; instead it may be a way for them to cope with managing grief.
Here are some of other changes you might experience when grieving:
- Spiritual, you might be challenged in your beliefs towards death;
- Physical, you may experience headaches, fatigue, achy muscles and nausea;
- Emotional, including sadness, anger, disbelief, despair, guilt and loneliness;
- Mental, possible forgetfulness, lack of concentration, confusion and poor memory;
- Behavioral, such as sleeping patterns or appetite, having dreams or nightmares or unusual emotional reactions no interest in hanging out with friends, and doing more crying than usual;
- Social, you may avoid friends, more stand offish or they might avoid you because they don’t know what to say or how to help or even to help you.
Anyone should be able to grieve in their own way and at their own precious time. Sometimes you might feel pressure to be strong for family or friends. However, ti’s important for them to be supportive of others in their time of mourning and grieving process. You shouldn’t feel like you have to bottle up what you feel down inside of you. This can be more harmful than helpful.
Unknown feelings and reactions
It isn’t unusual for events in your everyday routine to actually trigger a strong emotional reaction to what you have just gone through, because different events can be tiny reminders that your deceased friend or family member is no longer with you. Almost anything can trigger a response in your memory banks such as listening to the words or the music of a song, the smell of their tobacco or perfume, body odor or a look a like. Eventually through much time and healing you will be able to cope with and deal with your own feelings and emotions and learn to react to them differently.
While you’re going through grieving process, it’s important to you that you take care of yourself physical health and mental health. When you have bouts of overwhelming feels of grief, it might be more helpful to talk with a friend, a family member or professional about it.
A Personal Note from the Author
The saddest days for me was when I finally had to bury my own father of 88 years of age on March 1, 2009 of Glioblastoma (star tumor) of the brain and my mother of 87 years of age on December 2, 2013 with dementia .
So Remember to cherish the moments you have with your loved ones because once they are gone, they are never coming back. Live life every day as if it were your last.