Grief, Shock and Denial
Grief and Depression
Grief and Guilt
Grief and Loneliness
Grief and Anger
Grief, Shock and Denial
Quite often the first reaction to a loss, whether of a human being or a precious pet, is shock. This is almost always the case when the death is sudden and unexpected. If you were with the loved one when he or she died, for example in a road traffic accident, this is potentially even more traumatic. You may find that you replay the scene over and over in your mind (flashbacks), or the event may have been so shocking that you experience a temporary form of amnesia about the accident.
If you are in shock, your heart will race (tachycardia), and you may find that you are sweating and trembling. You should not undertake anything strenuous and your judgement is impaired. If you are in shock, you should protect yourself from any additional stress. Heart Calm Essence is very useful here.
Another very common reaction to loss, whether sudden or expected is denial. We say to ourselves that this is not happening. It must be a mistake. Even when confronted with the evidence, we may deny that the death has occurred. If you are helping a person through this phase of grief you may find that Heart Light Essence is useful here.
Grief and Depression
Many people get stuck in depression as a result of grief. If you have lost a loved one or suffered the loss of a pet, you may have experienced this. Depression is a complex topic, and is can become a clinical condition, requiring medical treatment. But many of us move through depression as part of the mourning cycle and this is natural.
If you become depressed following bereavement, you may notice some or all of the following:
- You have no appetite and lose weight or you comfort-eat and put on weight
- You have difficulty sleeping or sleep too much
- You cry a lot of the time
- You feel sad, guilty and angry.
The acute phase shouldn’t last more than a few weeks. If it goes for longer than this or you experience the following, you should seek medical help:
- You have thoughts of suicide
- You have feelings of utter despair and worthlessness
- You are unable to function properly e.g. lying in bed doing nothing all day.
- You aren’t able to enjoy formerly pleasurable activities e.g. a leisure pursuit or a social function.
Remember that the function of any medical help is to get you through the acute phase and not to do the grief work and the mourning for you. Even if you are on a course of anti-depressants, it’s still important to do natural cures for grief as well. Exercise, such as yoga or Pilates, has proven effects in lifting depression. If you are able, keep a journal and mark your progress. It will encourage you.
Friends can be a tremendous support at this time. It helps to have two or three people that you can confide in on a regular basis, and not just one person, who may get busy or overwhelmed. Spread the load wisely. You may also want to visit a bereavement counselor, who can help you with the process.
Remember to clear your house regularly with a space clearing spray. It will uplift your spirit. You may find Healing Profound Grief Essence to be very useful.
Grief and Guilt - Did I do everything I could?
Understanding your grief is part of a natural cure for grief. It’s as important as knowing how our bodies digest food, so that we can give them the best nourishment available. In the same way, we have to nourish and heal our thoughts and feelings.
Grief is work and it is part of a natural healing cycle. But sometimes that cycle gets interrupted and the work comes to a standstill. This is very painful as, without change, we can get stuck and fall into depression. It tends to happen particularly when we feel guilty about a loved one’s death.
Anna had a Cocker Spaniel whom she adored. She had noticed that he wasn’t as energetic as usual but thought there was no cause for concern. By the time she took him to the vet and tick fever was diagnosed, it was too late to save him. She blamed herself as many people who have suffered pet loss do, saying “if only I had recognized it sooner. He could have been saved.”
Ted’s two children were killed in a car crash. He was the driver and survived. But he didn’t really want to be alive for a long time, thinking to himself endlessly, “Why am I alive and they’re not?” He ran an endless tape in his head of the crash, imagining himself swerving or slowing the car at the last minute. But despite all his imaginings, changing the outcome of the accident wasn’t possible.
Both Anna and Ted, in different ways, had to come to terms with their guilt before they could complete their grief work. Along with other natural cures for grief, they found Healing Profound Grief Essence to be of use in transforming guilt into acceptance.
Anna worked through her grief and guilt faster than Ted and now has another dog and has moved on. Quite understandably, Ted’s process took longer. He says, “I have good days and bad days, more of the former and less of the latter.
On bad days I find Accepting Your Own Path Essence soothing. It seems to help with moving the guilt into forgiveness. If I can forgive myself on a daily basis, I can move on.”
Grief and Loneliness
Grief and loneliness often seem to go together. “I feel so lonely without him”, said Chloe, widowed after forty years of marriage. “I miss Joe so much, and feel so alone now he’s not here anymore. We were all in all to each other, and never really needed close friends, or even our families.”
|It’s really important to address the problem of loneliness while you are going through the grief process. Depending on the level of the loss, some loneliness is inevitable, but you should take positive steps to build up your social circle so as to lessen the feelings of loneliness. As many people live highly mobile lives nowadays and are often moving, so the bonds of community tend to be far less inclusive. Families, too, are frequently split and often fragmented geographically and socially. In other words, the old networks can’t be relied on.
So we have to create new networks. The enormous growth in what is called social media e.g. Face Book, Twitter, MySpace, etc., has been largely fueled by the human need not to be alone. The Internet may be a good place to start to search for people of a like mind, but it is unlikely to be enough by itself. We need human contact as well. One of the best ways of finding this contact is to through self-development, such as study, exercise, volunteer and creative work, etc. When we pursue interests that we care about, we often find people to care about as well.
Withdrawing from social connections can both be a sign of and a result of depression. If you find yourself refusing invitations and not issuing invitations as well, preferring to stay home or being alone, you may be at risk.
Chloe and Joe had what is often called a ‘cocoon marriage’ where the partners are completely entwined with each other in a symbiotic way. If one person dies, or wants a change in the relationship, then it can be a huge problem for the other person. The important thing here is to recognize the syndrome before the loss occurs and take steps to develop other interests and relationships outside the cocoon. Chloe had to work on loneliness as well as grief. Fortunately, she made three or four really good friends. Although she is still grieving the loss of Joe, she meets her friends regularly and really enjoys the time she spends with them.
Always remember that however lonely you feel, you are not alone in your loneliness. It’s a common human feeling. You may find Loneliness And Light Essence soothing.
Grief and Anger
Many people who have lost a loved one or experienced the loss of a pet feel angry. It is part of the natural cycle of grief and is totally to be expected. Indeed it is a normal and positive sign that grief work is taking place. But sometimes people can become trapped in anger. This is especially true when a mistake has been made, such as a wrong diagnosis, or a mistake in a treatment procedure.
Gerald lost his partner from a heart attack. He is still angry about it. “The whole thing was a disaster, from start to finish. The ambulance had a lot of difficulty finding our house, so we were delayed getting to the hospital. When we finally got to the ER, my friend was misdiagnosed. When it was finally apparent what had happened, they operated. But it was too late. He died. I have decided to sue.” Whether or not Gerald wins the case, it will never bring his friend back to life.
The effect of these mistakes and Gerald’s reaction means that he is continuously feeding his anger, rather than focusing on healing his grief. It may be right to bring a court case against the hospital that treated his partner, as lessons should be learnt from mistakes, but we also need to cure grief holistically. Gerald has to switch his attitude from one of saying “they are wrong and I will punish them” to saying “I have lost my beloved, nothing will bring him back but I don’t want anyone else to die from preventable mistakes and taking legal action seems the best way of making this happen.”
Anger is a powerful motivator in making us fight for things we really believe in. But usually it is not enough to fight against something; we have to fight for something. When Mother Teresa was asked if she would go on a march against the war in Vietnam, she said no. “But,” she added, “When you have a march for peace, I’ll be there.”
This shift in perspective from the negative to the positive is easy to talk about but harder to maintain. You will need to think of your grief from the holistic perspective. Acknowledge the loss, and move on to the bigger picture. This takes real generosity of soul. We all benefit from the work people do who have lost loved ones, or pets, to improve healthcare standards.
You may find Letting Go Now Combination Flower Essence helps you with anger as a result of grief. Remember to take good care of your body and mind as well.