Dealing With The Death of a Loved One

19 Jan

Death of a loved one.

These days, it seems as if more and more people are dealing with the death of a loved one. Be it from Cancer, ailing health, accidents or suicide, the death of a loved one will be the hardest experience many will go through.

Death has such a ripple effect, it affects the one who loses a loved one and  it affects the friends that feel at a loss about what to say to the mourner. Although I am no psychologist, I have lost my 2 brothers to suicide in the last 3 years so I can offer first hand experience and personal advice.

Death has 7 stages:

  • Shock or Disbelief
  • Denial
  • Bargaining
  • Guilt
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Acceptance/Hope

I have experienced all these stages and most likely, I am still going through the stages. Some days are worse than others and at times, I still feel a great loss and emptiness. There is no time limit as to when one will feel happier and there is no guarantee that one will ever feel “back to normal.” Everyone grieves differently and death has an effect on one that is unpredictable.

What I do know is I decide when and how life stops, or begins again. I mean, only I have the power and ability to make myself happy and I am the only one who can walk through all the sadness and loss and make myself better. I know that what I focus on expands and so I have consciously decided, I am going to focus on the good memories and celebrate the lives of my brothers, Ricardo and Isaac. No longer will I fixate on the way my brothers (Ricardo and Isaac) died, how they must have felt the day they decided to take their own lives, all the “what ifs” and what I could have done to prevent this death from taking place. All these thoughts keep me in the black hole of depression and prevents me from getting out.

So my advice to you is, allow yourself to truly feel the loss. Allow yourself to think about your loved one, as much as, you need and allow the process of grief to take place. Don’t apologize for your sadness and don’t worry about making others feel uncomfortable. You have lost one of the most important people in your life and you need to give yourself the time and space to heal.

13 Responses to “Dealing With The Death of a Loved One”

  1. C~ January 19, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    Thank you so much for posting this today Tash. I really needed to hear it.

  2. fantasha January 19, 2010 at 11:25 am #

    C- I am happy to use my experiences to help others feel more “normal” as to how they, or you, are feeling. No one who hasn’t gone through the loss of a loved one can understand how you, or I feel. Hope you have sunnier days, or feel the love soon enough.

  3. dynamicdeux January 21, 2010 at 11:50 pm #

    Wow, I think that’s so courageous of you to be able to write about your experience publicly. Yes, the loss of someone by suicide is a terrible thing to go through. I think the stages of grieving are not necessarily linear either…one can feel better one day and worse the next. My experience is that it comes in waves: just when you think it’s over another wave crashes in. Death seems to be such a taboo subject in our society, especially when it comes to death by suicide. The reality is that we live in a society that encourages alienation – a result of superficial connections with others that have little or no real meaning – and suicide is becoming more and more common. More open discussion on this topic in public forums is great when possible…

  4. fantasha January 22, 2010 at 8:57 am #

    Thank you for saying that.
    Although it is hard to put myself out there to total strangers, I am passionate about helping others. If my experiences can give someone else hope then it is worth “exposing” myself and my life.
    You are right, death carries a certain taboo when it comes to suicide. People react a little different when they find out the way in which someone died. I have received many different reactions, including a person saying my brothers are going to hell…what a thing to say!
    Death can definitely be isolating, mainly because the person who losses their loved one has trouble getting into intimate relationships out of fear of experiencing loss again. I have gone through a period where my world became smaller, I was closed off to meeting new people, or letting people get too close. That is why I make an effort

      every single day

    to reach out and trust people again. There are no right answers of how to deal with death, I just know that there can be happiness again.
    Thanks for your thoughtful comment once again:)

  5. phil kuhn January 5, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    Good information about the stages of grief. thanks

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