Having to cope with loss is something that never gets any easier, dealing with loss is something that never leaves us. learning to cope but never quite forgetting how we felt and the memories that relate to whatever it is lost.
What is loss
So what is a loss? A loss is when we lose something that we cannot get back, this can be from a favourite possession, a pet or a family member.
Grief and the grieving process
With loss comes grief, grief is a natural response to losing something or someone.
Grief comes in many shapes and forms and is something that can be hard to prepare for. This is because we cannot predict how we will feel when dealing with loss and grief.There are different stages of grief to consider and because we are all different who knows in what order we will deal with these stages of emotion.
The main five grieving processes are:
• Denial: it is perfectly normal not to want to accept loss and is often used as a defense mechanism.
• Anger: dealing with loss is a hard thing to come to terms with which can be very frustrating. Your frustrated thoughts can be misconstrued as anger. Anger can be vented out on other people as a coping tool.
• What if’s: this is the stage when your mind wonders about all whats happened and if you did something different you could have maybe changed events.
• Depression: As you begin to start to understand your loss you start to think about how you are going to manage, this can cause Signs of depression including crying, sleep issues, and a decreased appetite. You may feel overwhelmed, regretful, and lonely.
• Acceptance: this is normally the final stage of grief when you accept the reality of your loss and begin to realize that there is nothing you can do to change the fact. Of course, you still feel sad and some feelings will never leave but now you learn how to cope and be able to start moving forward with your life.
Types of loss
Loss of a pet
A loss of a pet can be a tragic loss in the family. People have very big and personal relationships. Pets are very dependant on us, they are loyal and show great affection towards us. this creates a huge bond between pets and families so when they leave us it is like a member of the family has passed.
Loss of a friend
Ok so a friend isn’t quite a family member but they are still an important part of your social life. Losing someone who we confide in and make us laugh is very hard to deal with when friends leave us. It takes some time to build trust in someone enough to tell your personal thoughts and feelings and we find it hard know how to deal with that when we lose it.
Loss of a family member
This type of loss can be varied depending on whether the loss is from distant family members (family members we may not see so often), close family (the family that we see quite often), and immediate family (brothers, sisters, parents). I’m not saying that it is not saddening but the closer we are to somebody, the more intense the feeling of loss can be.
No loss is good loss and being diagnosed with a terminal illness can be just as hard as a sudden death. The difference is that with a prepared loss we often have the chance to get some affairs in order (setting up funerals, fixing will’s and saying goodbye) and try as best as we can to brace ourselves for the unfortunate events that lie ahead of us.
This is when a death may happen unexpectedly or be totally out of the blue. Things like being run over, a brain hemorrhage, a murder, drowning, an undiagnosed illness such as advanced cancer, suicide or even something like war.
Coping with loss for a child
A child deals with loss in different ways. these emotions are often new and can be confusing as a child can find it hard how to deal with these emotions.
Here are some things parents can do to help a child who has lost a loved one:
Keep it simple
When talking to a child about someone who has passed try to be delicate in how you approach this. Use simple words but also try to be direct in what you say. Don’t forget to give your child time to take in what has just been said, remember, this is big news so it needs time to be digested.
Be there as much as you can
All children act differently with dealing with death and loss. Your child might get very upset, some children might need questions answering or some might not even give you any reaction at all. This is all perfectly normal.
Talk to your child
If your child wants to talk to you about what has happened let your child talk if they have questions then try to answer as best you can. Don’t be afraid to talk about your own feelings too, it’s good to let your child know that they are not alone and you share the same kind of feelings they do.
Speak about any changes
With a loss, comes changes in routine, make sure you speak about this with your child. For example, there may be a change of who takes your child to school. Letting your child know about all these things helps to feel more at ease.
Funerals, especially for younger children can be hard to understand, taking the time to sit your child down and explain to procedures of a funeral will greatly benefit both you and your child when it comes to saying goodbye.
Explaining how other people may react and what type of things they may say will help a lot. Giving your child a role in the funeral is a really good way to make your child feel part of the funeral.
Maybe your child could say something at the funeral, like a poem or a letter. Maybe you could get your child to help with the flower arrangements. Talk about the burial or cremation and explain to your child why this is being done. It’s a strange part of a funeral for watch a loved being put into the ground so the more you talk, the more natural it becomes.The wake of a funeral is also a strange time for a child at a funeral as it is a time for people to celebrate a life. This can be confusing as your child is going through a very sad time and it maybe hard to see people celebrating at this time. Make a judgment call on whether you think this is a place for your child to be.
The wake of a funeral is also a strange time for a child at a funeral. It is a time for people to celebrate a life. This can be confusing as your child is going through a very sad time. It maybe hard to see people celebrating at this time. Make a judgment call on whether you think this is a place for your child to be.
Remember the good times
The last thing you want is the person you have lost to be a distant memory. Encourage talk, make drawing and talk about the good times. Remembering is great in being able to cope a little better.
Give your child time
Grief is a process that happens over time. Be sure to have ongoing conversations to see how your child is feeling and doing. Healing doesn’t mean forgetting about the loved one. It means remembering the person with love and letting loving memories stir good feelings that support as we go on to enjoy life.
Time is a great healer
Give your child time to sort things out in their mind. Be there and take every day at a time. Talk about loved ones and let the legacy stay alive so they will never be forgotten
Help and support
There is lots of support you can get when dealing with the loss of someone.
Go and see your doctor
Your doctor is a great source of support as they can refer you to some kind of counseling or prescribe you with some medication if needed
Counselling is a good way to vent out to someone who is a neutral person, get advice and support from.
Tell your child’s school about your loss
School can help give support to your child and help your child to cope better both in and outside of school.
A great service with lots of information on different ways on how to deal with loss in general. Check out their website for more information.
Family and friends
family and friends are your main support at a time like this. your family maybe suffering from a loss also so supporting each other is nothing but good.
I am always available to talk and be a shoulder to cry on at this time of need. Hit this link to find out more.