Loss is a tough subject to discuss. It is a subject we like to avoid at all cost. The problem is that it is unavoidable. We will all deal with loss in our lifetime. Avoiding the subject may be our safety net. It gives us comfort and keeps us at ease. But avoiding isn’t always the best solution. Life is unpredictable and we should expect that loss is inevitable. People may think this is a grim way of looking at life, but it isn’t. It is about accepting the reality. Acceptance brings peace of mind and freedom. It will allow an individual to cope, manage loss, and the grieving process will be much easier. It will still be painful. Loss comes with pain. It will just be easier to deal with being able to face the dark reality of life.
I am talking about this heavy subject, because a coworker of mine lost a close friend recently, and discussed his concerns to me about it. He even witnessed it in person. When he was explaining what happened. I felt a lot of empathy and sorrow for him. It is tough knowing what to say in those situations. I am sorry seems so simplistic, but sometimes that is all you can say. We may even say things that can be hurtful to the individual, because we think these words are helpful, or we just don’t know what to say. The one thing you can do as an individual is be there and listen.
As he was telling me his story, he felt said he felt guilt for not doing more to save him. This is a very normal reaction to witnessing a death. Guilt is one emotion that will most likely be felt, during the grieving process. It is understandable, but as I reminded him that at the moment you can only do all you can do. It is a stressful environment and it can be hard to think logically in that type of environment. The best thing you can do for yourself is be kind and compassionate towards oneself, during grief. An individual is dealing with enough, during that time. You don’t want to add self-blame to the mix.
Sadness, sorrow, and even depression will be felt, during the process of grief. It is okay to feel these emotions. It is best to not mask it with external means(alcohol, drugs, food). We need to endure the pain and sadness, so that we can move forward and accept.
It does get better, but one must go through the pain of loss. Talking to others who understand can be very helpful. Be it family, friends, support groups, people who dealt with loss as well can be comforting. I gave him as much comfort as I can, but having someone there to listen can be enough. If there is no one there to listen, than journaling can be another outlet to get your feelings out there. Also crying, screaming, or just taking some time off to just grieve is perfectly okay. If you want to stay in bed and not do anything, that is okay as well. No one should feel ashamed of grieving or sadness. There is no quick fix or happy pill. We all have our own journey through the grieving process, some take longer than others. There is no timetable to grieving. You get through when you are ready, no one else should define that for you.
Not just a loss of someone can create discomfort, but a loss of a job, home, financial security, divorce, and accident(cultivating a loss of an ability to walk/see etc,.). We need to be aware that loss is part of life. It is better to be aware and prepared as much as you can, because the unavoidable will happen. Preparation and awareness can help you heal and find peace much sooner. It will still hurt, but it won’t be as devastating to your well-being if one chooses to avoid the subject.