Grief and Loss?  Or Death and Dying?

November 6, 2019

By:  Bobbi Jo Lowe, MA,LPC,NCC,MITS

Grief and Loss?  Or Death and Dying?

This month's blog surrounds the myriad of emotions that are experienced when someone in our life comes to the end of theirs.

Most people can accept that grief does indeed look different for individuals experiencing it.  We don't all have the tearful bouts or appear sad.  In fact, some people can even be found downright peppy, smiling and cheerful at wakes or funeral home showings.  Some funerals feel somber and others may even have a backyard BBQ feel.  Emotions can shift quickly as well.  Someone who seemed to be "breaking down/falling apart" one day can seem to have it together the next.

The part about death that is not always openly acknowledged is when the death is processed as a RELIEF.  This is much harder for people to express.  However, there are times when the death is an end to suffering for the newly departed.  In addition, sometimes it provides closure to an otherwise strained relationship.  There are some friends or family members who really do not find ways in their lifetime to share experiences that are healthy and/or well received.  In these cases, the death may be a time of peace and possibly a time that those left on earth can give themselves permission to harvest any positive memories; and hold on to them.  In this way, cultivating a new essence of cherishing and joy toward those memories, and the recently deceased.

Of course, guilt is often evident during this time.  This is when a good therapist, who understands the complexities of emotions can be most helpful.  Sometimes, just a very good friend can offer the needed support.  Be sure to look out for others and try not to judge their reactions if at all possible.

Take good care....

Until next time.