Loss is inevitable. It is a matter of who, what, when, where and how the loss occurred. Experiencing a sudden and unexpected loss can create a steep decline for a person as they attempt to deal with the loss and trauma.
Everyone experiences loss differently. Some people feel helplessness; others have extreme fear about any event that reminds them of the loss; others buckle-up and move on (until it hits them later). Everyone is different. If you are a friend of the one going thru the loss/grief, please be patient and accept them as they are in the moment. Be kind.
Trauma is embedded within the grief. Sometimes it can be difficult to differentiate between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), grief and traumatic grief. PTSD is about fear and grief is about loss. Traumatic grief will have both and it also includes a sense of powerlessness. A grieving person may experience many symptoms and question if they are “losing it” – becoming too mentally and emotionally involved in the loss event that everyday life is difficult to plan.
The grieving person may experience: upsetting memories, feeling empty in life, longing for the person, having disbelief or anger about the death, having difficulty caring about or trusting other people, feeling lonely most of the time, feeling stunned, etc..
We may all share some common experiences; however, we each have our own way of thinking, feeling, and responding to the loss event. When it is the loss of a loved one, our basic/core beliefs about life and what happens after this earth life are a part of our being able to adjust to the loss. Do we view the loss as temporary (later on we will see our loved one in another form) or do we view it as forever?
Loss, grief, and trauma are all a part of human experiences. It is important for self and our remaining loved ones that we learn how to deal with this loss (whatever it may be). Express your loss in words and actions and give yourself time to mend and then move forward. Learn to express your thoughts and feelings in a way that is productive and helps you move forward with your life. Be patient and kind to yourself. Moving forward does not mean that we forget the loss; it means that we have learned to deal with the loss and still have a meaningful life.
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