Going through this class has opened up my eyes to death and the way we all deal with it. At 26, the most vivid loss I’ve experienced was our family dog a few years ago and it was much harder than I ever imagined. At this stage in my life many friends have lost a parent; not knowing what to say or do has left me in avoidance mode. After learning about different types of losses and bereavement I can be a much better friend.
I realize society has unrealistic expectations towards mourning. Most people don’t realize what “normal” grief is and expect the person to get over it quickly. It is difficult and possibly the most challenging experience to lose a loved one whether its spouse, child, parent or friend. To miss that person and readjust to life without them is hard. The only way out of grief is through it. Grieving is different for each relationship and varies based on the length and level of happiness shared in the relationship. Sometimes a loss forces other changes in your life like financial security, home, and even your independence. To a person whose child dies they no longer have the role as a parent. Many hopes and dreams are dashed after a death, such as enjoying retirement together or having dad walk down the aisle. It alters life plans.
Healing takes time with many ups and downs. The firsts for anything like Christmas, a wedding anniversary, or birthday remind us of our loss. Knowing that grief always takes longer then you think, but eventually will work itself out is encouraging. Many people feel grief is a personal issue and don’t want to intrude but the truth is grieving people need to talk. Finding others who share the same experiences is very helpful. A support group can supply the coping skills needed while bringing relief to the mourner.
Always remember that everyone grieves differently; some may be quiet while others may cry a lot during this process. Each is a step in the healing process that has no rules or time limits but leads to a new life.