La felicidad agrupa, pero el dolor reune A. Bougeard
Suffering the pain of losing a loved one is a little like dying. A range of feelings such as deep sorrow, anger, negation, introversion and blame upsets your emotions.
Many people need the support of family and friends during these difficult moments. What the bereaved must remember, however, is that this emotional turmoil is quite normal.
This commotion eventually disappears and is replaced by a profound realization of the enormity of the loss. In time, the bereaved overcome their loss and regain emotional equilibrium.
It can take one or two years until the loss of the loved one is finally accepted.
You should not try to shorten the time it takes for final acceptance to come. Insisting on getting back to normal too quickly is not helpful.
It is important that the family see the body in cases of sudden and unexpected death. Not seeing the body can make it more difficult to accept what has happened.
For some people it is helpful to sit and talk to the dead body, expressing their love or saying goodbye. Many times people tell their loved ones things that they were incapable of saying when they were alive.
Sometimes we need to help the bereaved to release their emotions. It is not uncommon for people's grief to manifest itself as anger. They should be encouraged to show their anger; bottling this anger up inside is not helpful. It is not unusual for relatives to experience great feelings of guilt.
They go over and over the mistakes made in their relationship with the deceased. They even torture themselves with the thought that if they had acted differently the death could have been avoided.
Once again, we should encourage people to say what they are thinking, even if their thoughts appear irrational and absurd. Little by little the guilt will disappear and surviving relatives will learn to forgive themselves.
Sometimes the alterations described above last longer than normal or other reactions appear that require specialized help.
- Delirious grief: for the surviving relative the deceased is still alive. Severe anxiety is caused by the death.
- Melancholy grief: a deeper or longer lasting depression than normal results.
- Manic grief: grief is seen as being useless. The surviving relative claims that the death is not important.
- Obsessive grief: a deep sense of guilt results.
- Hysteric grief: the surviving relative identifies with the deceased, even trying to look and act like them.