Living after the death of a loved one – Psychologist Nadezhda Khramchenko
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Living after the death of a loved one
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Experiencing the death of a loved one, a person deeply experiences the loss of his or her own personality. There are several reasons for this. A person develops in relationships with other people, so when a person dies, so does a part of the personality of his or her loved ones.
There are two important factors that play a role in accepting the fact of a loved one’s death: justice and timeliness regarding the passing.
The existential tragedy of a person is that they realize that someday they will die, and all of their loved ones will die. The death of old people is natural; it is natural for children to bury their elderly parents, especially if they have been long and seriously ill. Such death is much easier than the death of a young person in the prime of life or a child. Where is justice here? All the laws of life and death are violated.
And if suddenly by chance the whole family dies? It is extremely difficult to accept such an unjust and untimely death. It is very difficult for the relatives of the deceased or deceased to accept the sudden, unfair death of a person who had done nothing wrong and had his whole life ahead of him.
Often it is only with the help of long-term work with a psychologist that a person who has suffered such a loss can get over the grief and come back to life.
With the death of a loved one, one has to say goodbye forever to a significant part of one’s life that was connected to it. It is excruciating to part forever with the hopes and plans for the future in which the one who died was.
The basic feeling one experiences when experiencing the death of a loved one is one of intense grief. It can be so intolerable, especially at first, that the psyche blocks the perception of reality and denies the loss. The person lives without noticing the loss, either thinking that the loved one is alive, or thinking that nothing horrible has happened: “Everyone will die someday. Shock, denial of what has happened block the immense grief, but they can only help the unfortunate person at first. If he does not cry at the funeral, for 9, 40 days, automatically performing all the funeral rituals, if he tries to fill his life with joy and pleasure, protecting himself from sadness and despair, this death will destroy his life, filling it for years with apathy, a series of psychosomatic diseases or depression. ©Author of the article you are now reading, Nadezhda Khramchenko/
The psyche can be protected by denying death for no more than three days. At a funeral, both men and women need to cry, as well as observe all the rituals – they help a lot to get over the loss.
The hardest part is accepting the fact of death, accepting that a loved one is gone and will never be again. It is inhumanly painful and hard. But only this acceptance gives hope for your own rebirth and further happy life without this beloved and dear person.
This is the most important stage in the experience of grief. In psychology, the entire process from the news of the death of a loved one to the point where one can go on living without that person by experiencing their death is called GRAINING or WORK OF Grief. It is of great importance when working with a bereaved person.
From the moment one learns of the death of a loved one, to the moment one finally accepts their loss and is ready to live without the departed person, the greatest help is the support of friends, relatives and others. Help from people is not words of comfort; they will only do harm here. The help of people is, first of all, the ability and willingness to listen and talk about the deceased. The task, if I may say so, of a person who is experiencing the loss of a loved one is not to hold back all his emotions and feelings, and to talk a great deal about the deceased, remembering him and all the bright moments of his life with him. This is the work of GORE, it helps to get through the bereavement. Crying, sobbing, better with the whole body, laughing, screaming help to pour out emotions. Getting them out is a necessity. The basic ways of releasing emotions and feelings are: physical activity (to walk, run), with the help of the voice (crying, shouting), art therapy. A home version of art therapy is as follows: lay a sheet of Watman paper on the table, prepare paints (watercolor, gouache), a glass with water and two squirrel brushes (2 and 6 sizes). Focus briefly on your emotions and feelings (1-5 minutes), take a brush that you like, choose a paint that corresponds to those feelings and draw, giving in to an unconscious flow of emotions. Try to express your emotions and feelings on paper in paint. Name your painting. If it doesn’t make you feel better, start with the next one. You will achieve a very good result if you sob, cry or scream. But the option of falling into a stupor is also possible. In that case, draw what you would like, matching colors with your present state. Next, analyze your drawing. Why did you paint this? That’s how you’ll get in touch with your feelings and shake them up.
Despair, anger, rage, guilt, horror, fear, resentment, sadness-these emotions and feelings are natural in this situation. If they are not vented, they will lead to somatic illness, insanity, or death.
Be sure to observe all funeral rituals. Rituals are very helpful in working through grief and later finding yourself.
In the first hours, days and months after a loss, it is not advisable to be alone. If you feel that there is no one around who you can trust, or if you are too emotionally overwhelmed from the inside – write a farewell letter to the deceased. In it, you can talk about what is happening to you now, how you are suffering, how you are living through this grief, you can ask for forgiveness if you feel guilty before the deceased. Next, you can burn the letter and scatter it in a place where you were both happy. You can keep a diary to ease your state of mind. It is important to keep the diary. Maybe one day you will be able to give it to a person who is in a similar situation, and your experience will help him/her a lot.©Author of the article you are reading now, Khramchenko Nadezhda/
When the soul has suffered death, mourning is over, it is time for the rebirth of its life. Death is an inevitable part of life; without death, life would be impossible. Having gone through despair, emptiness, rage, apathy, depression, experiencing loss, one is faced with the need to find a new meaning to one’s life, to learn to have joy and pleasure. The deceased appears in the memory as a bright image, memories of him are sad, sometimes with humor, but without the previous excruciating pain and despair. It’s time to get a taste of your own life. You know very well what death is. You understand that sooner or later you will die. You need to realize the value of life, and feel its fullness now, without putting it off for the future.
1.Go to the countryside, to nature alone. Immerse yourself in the beauty of a forest, lake, river, or field. Contemplate, taste the smells, feel the roughness of tree bark not as an outside observer, but as part of nature. Observe spiders, ants, birds, animals, not from the perspective of man as the “Measure of all things,” but from the perspective of a mortal like all other animals, a child of nature.
2.Get actively involved in life. Do something that you have long dreamed of doing, but have been putting off: dance, playing an instrument, botany, floristry, animal care and horseback riding, sports, pottery, embroidery, traveling, etc. This can become your hobby.
3.Don’t say no to your friends and girlfriends when they try to take you out. You need the companionship, the new relationships, and they are therapeutic for you now. If you feel guilty before the deceased, write him a letter of repentance, make it up for with good deeds in front of others. Until you forgive yourself you will not be able to live a full life.
4.help others, try to do good deeds and little things (say hello in stores, smile often, give way to the needy in transport, help a badly sighted person to choose food in a store, etc.). Thinking about others, listening to those in need, lending a helping hand, you forget about yourself. By becoming a volunteer you can constantly feel that you are needed by people, that you are not living your life in vain, like a droning drone. Think about how many people need your help right now!
5. think in advance about how you will spend anniversaries and anniversaries. Don’t be alone on these days. Ask someone to be with you on such days, go together to places of remembrance and talk, talk, talk about your feelings, life, about that person who died.
6.Every day, discover new things in the ordinary, go headlong into your work. There is nothing better for restoring mental strength while grieving than creativity and all-consuming work. Take your mind off the pain, find something attractive in this world will help hippotherapy.
7.Plan for the present and the future. Dream. This is very difficult, because now your dreams will not be about a dear to you, but deceased person. But the challenge for your will is to discover new facets of life, something from which you can derive pleasure and joy.
8.rest, get enough sleep, make sure that you are not under a lot of stress and psycho-emotional strain. Take care of your health. On the state of your nervous system and physical health also depends your revival. Try to look good and watch your physical condition.
9.Remember that works of art serve many purposes for experiencing mental turmoil. It is better if you spend a free evening or weekend not in a bar, but at an art exhibition, theater, or conservatory. A movie provides a great way to react to your emotions. Watch a movie where the hero, albeit suffering, nevertheless comes out of a difficult life situation. Also, Soviet comedies help you find mental stability and balance. Don’t forget to listen to music and songs that evoke positive emotions in you.
When a child’s loved one dies, relatives often face a dilemma: whether or not to tell the child that his or her father or mother, grandmother or grandfather died. Maybe it’s better to make up a story about the sudden disappearance of a significant person for the child, to protect him from his worries? The answer of psychologists to this question is unambiguous: “It is necessary to tell the child that a loved one died, and not to deceive. Each child has its own ideas about death, sometimes they are very primitive, because the topic of death is often forbidden, adults talk very little with children about it. If the child has questions about what death is, how a relative died, what will happen to him or her later on, etc., it is necessary to answer each of them, but the information given should be selective, calmly, based on the child’s age perception. The information should be such that it does not scare the child. For example, tell them that something bad happened, daddy died, he was hit by a car, his soul flew away and met with God, daddy’s soul will watch us and will become your Guardian Angel, we will say goodbye to his body, it no longer has a soul, thanks to which man lives. After the funeral, his body will dissolve into the earth and become part of the earth. We will never forget about him and will always take care of his grave, put candles in the temple and pray for his peace, that God does not forget about his soul.
It is not terrible if a child sees people’s grief and sorrow – it is an adequate reaction to the death of a person. It is important for the child’s development that he encounter exactly the appropriate reactions. It is better if the child has the opportunity to be present not at all funerals (funeral service, farewell, burial, wake), but partially at each of these stages with the opportunity to rest (it is better not to be present at the wake). An adult should be by the child’s side all the time and support him, answering all questions that arise (selectively giving information). Give him or her a chance to cry, not soothing, but accepting his or her grief.
Don’t be ashamed of your feelings of grieving, crying and sobbing in front of the child. It is much worse when people try to hide information about the death, mask their feelings and be hypocritical. In this way they not only do not save the child from suffering, but also create in him or her many fears and worries. Children can not be deceived, the child will still feel that something is wrong, that the adults are deceiving him and hiding the truth, and then he will stop trusting people. Surely someone will tell him sooner or later what really happened. And then, it will be a real, hard blow.©Author of the article you are reading now, Khramchenko Nadezhda/
Children don’t have as severe a perception of death as adults; for them, life is infinite. It is much easier for them to accept the death of a loved one if the adults behave properly than to feel that a loved one has suddenly, for no reason, disappeared and left them. The conclusions the child draws for himself or herself are as follows: it means that everyone close to him or her can suddenly disappear, the world is not safe, people cannot be trusted. Fears and worries, often unfounded, will remain in his life for years to come.
Write a farewell letter to the deceased together with your child, let him/her draw a picture for him/her. Attach the drawing to the letter. Tell the child that every time he/she is sad, he/she can draw a picture for the deceased. A selection of drawings, a toy can then be taken together to the grave.
In the situation of death, children often become taciturn and withdraw into themselves. Suggest the child to draw, hook them on communication. Be there, be supportive, talk.
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The death of a person takes with it a part of their loved one’s personality. The grief and pain is so intense that there is no way to cope with it. It feels like the suffering will be endless. However, living through grief without hiding from it, without silencing the pain, without rushing through it, is necessary. Then there will be a chance to revive your own personality and the perception of a dear, beloved, close, but deceased person as a bright image in your memory.
How to survive the death of a loved one: 8 tips
It is not easy for everyone to adapt to difficult situations in life, and even more so to cope with a real grief. In this material, we will talk about how to survive the death of a loved one and help others cope.
Embrace your pain
The first thing to realize is that you don’t have to fight your pain and try to banish it from your life like a foreign body. It is perfectly normal to feel pain, even if it is severe, and it is even more important to do so, because it is how we adapt to the new circumstances in life. It is also worth reconciling ourselves to the fact that the pain will probably never completely go away, and on important dates – the birthday of the deceased or the anniversary of the death – it will come back. You need to remember this and not be surprised by your feelings.
Listen to yourself
Each person is different, which means that everyone experiences death in their own way. There can be no general rules. Some people need a long period of adjustment after the death of a loved one, while others, on the contrary, will try to get into the rhythm of normal life as soon as possible. Either option is normal, you should not pay attention to the opinion of society, which always “knows how to do better. Think about what will help you get through the death of a loved one, and do it.
Seek answers to difficult questions
The loss of a loved one poses the most important question for a person: what awaits us all after death? And it makes sense. Do not turn away from the search for answers – often grief becomes an important stage in the personal development of man. Some will find answers in religious literature, others in scientific or philosophical literature. Either way, simply turning a blind eye to the problem is unlikely to work.
Talk about what happened
Not all people are ready to discuss the death of a loved one, but most will sooner or later need to speak out. It is very important that you have someone to do it with, and there is one rule to remember: if the person you are talking to even tries to devalue your grief, run away from him with all your might. He certainly can not help you, only harm. If you can not find a suitable person to talk to, talk to a psychologist. An experienced specialist not only listen to everything, but also give advice that will help in your situation.
“Let go” of the deceased
Speaking of psychologists: often experts advise to mentally “let go” of the deceased. The fact is that death – even death from old age – always happens suddenly, it is almost impossible to prepare for it. It seems that you have not finished all the affairs with your deceased loved one, have not told him all that you wanted, have not given the necessary amount of warmth and understanding. Such feelings and emotions can be a heavy burden that will prevent you from experiencing grief. Therefore, it is worth mentally saying goodbye to the person – to forgive him for his insults, to thank him for his good deeds, to resolve contentious issues. Often, to do this, psychologists advise to write a symbolic letter to the deceased, which will help put everything in its place.
Restructure your life – limit the negative factors
After the death of a loved one, we are weakened and vulnerable, any little thing can knock us out. In order that the process of grief was less painful, it is worth taking care of yourself and try to create the most comfortable conditions. Exclude communication with not the most pleasant acquaintances, do not do things that you can not stand, change your job if you feel the need. All of this will reduce daily stress and save energy for more important things.
When is it worth seeking help from a psychologist?
Yes, everyone experiences the loss of a loved one in their own way, and some have it harder than others. Here it is important to listen to yourself: if you feel that you cannot cope with the psychological burden yourself, and even after several months (or even after a year) the pain of loss is as strong as in the first days, it is better to talk to a psychologist. Prolonged emotional instability after the death of a loved one, physical exhaustion and increased anxiety are also reasons to consult a specialist. Often such an event reveals psychological problems that have not previously manifested themselves in acute form.
How do you help another person who is experiencing the loss of a loved one?
Given the above, it is worth remembering a few important things. First, do not impose your opinion on how to properly handle grief. He is free to do as he wants. Secondly, your main task – to make it clear that you are always ready to support him: without persistence and obsession, offer to go somewhere together sometimes, to meet in a cafe, to talk on the phone. Thirdly, do not strenuously distract people from thinking about the deceased loved one – it’s quite normal if he wants to discuss what happened and remember your loved one. Finally, fourthly, if you see that with the passage of time he is sinking more and more into despair and grief, it is worth offering him to see a psychologist: the main thing is to do it gently and without unnecessary pressure.