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Coping with Loss

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 22 Oct 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Coping With Loss dealing With Loss

Everyone copes with loss differently and there is no right or wrong method for dealing with the grief that accompanies the loss of a loved one. People will experience many different emotions while they are bereaved, they will experience these emotions in different orders and for different lengths of time, and no doubt they will all find different methods by which to deal with these emotions and work through their grief. No one in a state of bereavement should be expected to act in a certain way or measure up to certain standards of grief. Instead, all individuals should be allowed to cope with their loss as best they can, and support should be sought if they can not cope effectively.

The Cycle of Grief

As a general rule, there may be certain phases of grief that individuals experience, though the actual experiences will vary widely. These phases are sometimes referred to as a cycle of grief made up of stages such as denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. Throughout these stages the bereaved may feel sad, angry, guilty, frustrated and more. Crying, changes in eating, sleeping and/or socialising patterns, feeling angry, a loss of memory, and a lack of concentration may all be experienced. Again, the specific responses will likely be unique to the individual.

Saying Goodbye

Many bereaved individuals cope with their loss by formally saying goodbye to the deceased. Some family and friends find that organising and attending the funeral is enough, while others may also organise a memorial service or associated event to honour the dead. Annual events such as fundraisers in the deceased’s names are a popular way of raising funds for a cause that the deceased cared about, of allowing surviving family and friends to come together and celebrate the deceased’s life, and allowing loved ones of the deceased a specific time to come together to support each other. Professional planners are available to help with any funeral, memorial service or other event that the family is considering.

Finding Support

Sometimes more support is required to help an individual through his or her grief than other family and friends can provide. Emotional support can be sought through bereavement counselling, as it allows the bereaved to explore and describe his or her thoughts and feelings to an objective audience. Practical support can be sought from professionals such as solicitors and/or accountants who can help explain legal rights and responsibilities following the death may also be able to lend practical support at this time. A Citizen’s Advice Bureau may be able to offer practical information and advice as well. Financial support also may be required following the loss of a loved one to pay for the funeral, to pay outstanding debts, and/or to settle the deceased’s estate. Sometimes benefits are available to assist family and friends following the loss of a loved one. Just a few of these supports include Bereavement Payment and Allowance, Widowed Parent’s Allowance, Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit and/or Guardian’s Allowance. A Citizen’s Advice Bureau will be able to offer more information on these and other financial supports.

Unfortunately, not everyone realises that they need extra support for coping with loss when they are bereaved, so family and friends must remain vigilant of each other and discuss their concerns if they feel that further emotional or practical support may be needed.

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Boatman - Your Question:
Nearly 5 yrs ago. My son jake passed away in hospital. He had been in intensive care for a week. My ex. Never told me. So I didnt get a chance to say goodbye.or come to terms with it. Just got a phone call to say he had gone. I was devastated. The first year I was in autopilot totally numb. Then spent the following 2 years taking it out on other people friends and family.the past 2 years ive spent pushing people away. Recently ive been better but the last month. Has been hard. Alot about bereavement. On the radio. Its now coming up to the anniversary and im dreading it. I want to move on but dont seem able to do so. How many times can I keep falling apart.18 months before my son died my mother passed away from cancer. Then 2 years after my son my dad died. Not sure I can keep going. Its just one battle after another. As I have written this tears have just rolled down my faceHELP

Our Response:
Please don't try and cope with this by yourself. Seek help from one of the many fabulour bereavement charities/organisations like:
CRUSE
Child Bereavement UK
Marie Curie Community
FacingBereavement - 24-Oct-17 @ 3:44 PM
Nearly 5 yrs ago. My son jake passed away in hospital. He had been in intensive care for a week. My ex. Never told me. So I didnt get a chance to say goodbye.or come to terms with it. Just got a phone call to say he had gone. I was devastated. The first year I was in autopilot totally numb. Then spent the following 2 years taking it out on other people friends and family.the past 2 years ive spent pushing people away. Recently ive been better but the last month. Has been hard. Alot about bereavement. On the radio. Its now coming up to the anniversary and im dreading it. I want to move on but dont seem able to do so. How many times can I keep falling apart. 18 months before my son died my mother passed away from cancer. Then 2 years after my son my dad died. Not sure I can keep going. Its just one battle after another. As I have written this tears have just rolled down my face HELP
Boatman - 22-Oct-17 @ 5:44 PM
My baby brother who was 13 years old at the time committed suicide.It's been 2 years since he died and I'm losing my mind.I keep having melt downs when other things in my life become stressful it seems like everything falls apart.Things that shouldn't make me angry make me so upset.I can only think that it has to do with my brother dying because I always end up crying about him at the end of my meltdown.It's effecting my relationship and I'm taking it out on my husband.How long am I going to grieve like this? He doesn't deserve this.I am in counseling but it's hard because I have a baby and I don't feel like I am always getting 100% of the session.Any tips on how to cope?
Mina - 1-Oct-17 @ 11:25 AM
Lost my partner in 2016 but 8 weeks ago lost my wonderful boy age 35 found him .it was the worst day in my life a wonderful young man with a good job and leaves a 4 year old who he loved more than life ,she misses him awfully ,am beginning bereavement counselling just not sure if i have the strength to go forward in life without him . Lyn 09/07/2017
jet - 9-Jul-17 @ 10:55 PM
On the 21st april 2017 my brother in law was found dead at home on the day he was due to start a new life in a new home. My sister died the previous March. He was a broken man and I had put him back together again. In December 2015 my brother died unexpectedly and in November 2016 my brothers wife died of a terminal condition. My sister was only 54 and had cancer. I had close friend die of cancer in June 2015. I do not know how I got through last year. My brother in law was in London and me in Bristol. He was cruelly targeted by fraudsters in the last year. Now there are 4 family deaths in 16 months. I have gone back to Cruse. Any advice anywhere would help to fathom out how I am meant to find yet more resources to keep going as the grief is overwhelming. I am due to speak to a Minister to try and give some meaning to this.One death is bad enough, but so many so quickly is impossible. I just do the basics and take things as slow as possible.
Joy - 8-May-17 @ 1:34 PM
I lost my husband on the 30-08-16. I don't know how to deal with his departure. He was my everything he understand me more than anyone and always there for me.He loved my kids as his own. What hurt most is September is our anniversary and my birth month. We had plans for September and he was the one who was organising it.Now I have to face everything alone. He always encouraging me to follow my dream the love he gave me was amazing we couldn't stay apart from each other. When am at work he'll call me 100 times and I enjoyed it.Off days wherever we go,we together. I miss him so much.How can I get pass this.
LadyB - 23-Sep-16 @ 6:42 PM
Just had my beloved pet put to sleep, 12 yrs old,, just me and my daughter, mum died end ofapril dad year and a half other dog died nine months ago, other daughter estranged from me and young daughter, the fact that I wee can't talk to dad as he's dead and mother suffering alzheimers for years leaves us alone together, mum and dad were brilliant, clergy said I'm to negative for their congregation, suffering depression and not helped by congregation, told to get on with it, Molly wonderful clever loving dog we all loved her so much hate waking in morning only drinking wine to try kill pain, me and daughter, house and garden unkempt and no energy, told to cut grass with sciccors by elders wife who has coo shy life, plenty money
Wee g - 15-Sep-16 @ 5:24 PM
My little girl was born on January 14th this year and she past away in my womb a week before this, I am going through mixed emotions right now I miss her so much and Im taking it out on the person closest to me my partner I am being all loving one minute, the next im arguing throwing things at him. I love him more then Ive ever loved anyone and I dont know why im acting like that is it grief?
Nic - 20-Feb-16 @ 11:02 PM
I'm due to start bereavement councilling on Friday and I'm so worried that I'm going to break down. I lost my mum 5 months ago and am wracked with guilt over her death as it was suicide she was only 62 and had many more years left in her I'm so sad she has gone and don't feel it's real still as I stilltry to ring her all the time then it hits me that I can't as she's not going to answer me . I miss my mum so much. 3 months after mum died my 17 year old nephew died aswell it's all to overwhelming that my family are passing away before my eyes I can't concentrate on anything as I am expecting someone else to die close to me it's a terrible feeling and I can't seem to shift it I love and miss them both so much it hurts.
Steph - 18-Jan-16 @ 10:36 PM
My mother in law has terminal cancerCalangio Carcenoma .My wife is struggling emotionallyas you would expect and appears to be in the grieving process. I need to support and help my wife and my mother in law aged 82 . I am being supportive in all pratical ways , I need to know how I can support my mother in law and make her limited time with us as enjoyable and comfortable as possible. Also I need to help my wife , as I do not know what to do for the best to help her with emotional struggle with her mothers terminal illness.My fatherin law is 84 and also is unwell and is adiabetic with associated illnesses , plus needs daily self cathiterisation .My mother in law is his carer although she will not be able to continue in this way. My mother in law was given this prognosis approx. 1 month ago .
colin - 2-Dec-15 @ 9:43 AM
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