Loss has many faces, and they all leave you with variable depth of despair.
· Loss of a loved one
· Loss of your job through retrenchments
· Loss of a close relationship or friendship that can never be regained
· Loss of your business and/or home
· Loss of your functionality through illness or accident
· Loss of a partner through divorce/separation
No matter the loss, the devastation is something you need to deal with before it makes you physically ill. The covid-19 pandemic has left many families and individuals reeling from the loss of a loved one. No matter the cause of losing a loved one, the reality and the process of emotions are dire and devastating. When you hear the news of the loss of a loved one, the shock mostly hits like a full-on fist of fury in your solar plexus and momentarily catches you off guard, just before the nausea hits. Your body reacts to the shock at the core of your body before your brain slots in and acknowledges the enormity of the news.
It is at that moment when you need to start telling yourself constantly to breathe… just breathe… just breathe… as the shock is so huge that you forget to breathe. Once you can stop the enormity of the emotion and start to focus on the enormity of the loss your brain will take over and practicality sets in. There are things to do, and your mind starts to focus on them. This is a form of disassociating from the news, and you will find yourself operating on a level of denial, this is like a switch that enables you to cope momentarily. It helps you to get through the overwhelming depth of your emotions. Then the strange feeling of hurt, anger, loss, betrayal, fear, anxiety starts coming in waves and engulfs you. You stand helpless in the onslaught of emotions without knowing how to deal with it. Then having to deal with the clichés of people who would love to take away your pain, and somehow actually make it worse.
Sadly, no other person can deal with the devastation of your pain and loss, nor are they able to fathom the depth of your despair. Only you can. There is a perception in society that loss is something you deal with as quickly as possible and then move on.
Unfortunately, this comes from ignorance and their inability to help you deal with this loss. People are mostly quite unaware as to how to respond to your pain and mental agony, hence the safe “Sorry for your loss” phrase.
One cannot turn off your emotion like a tap. I think most people are familiar with the 5 stages of grief, i.e.:
However, there are two more steps that most people leave out:
· Reconstruction of your life, through emotional help and dealing with the process of regaining your life
· The quiet acceptance that the person is not going to return, and the slow process will start where you dare to hope for the future
Allow us to help you through your loss. You are not on your own. Be kind to yourself and PLEASE remember that grief has no time limit.