By David Coy
When we or someone we know find ourselves in the beginning of the journey with grief, shock greets the person mourning. With shock, there appears the feeling of dismay or the mixed feeling of sorrow and relief because of expected loss and the minimized of continued misery of the now deceased loved one. It is never easy to let go of someone whom we felt deep affection and admiration for. Richard Cabot and Russell Dicks in the work The Art of Ministering to the Sick report that families are extremely fatigued when their loved one, who has suffered during the last few days of their illness, passes. Whether the loss by death is expected or unexpected, there is a growth process that the mourner will need to achieve. A return to a happy healthy mindset in the absence of the deceased should be the desired end result.
Most of us put one foot in front of the other, fulfilling each day’s responsibilities. With assistance of supporters, the goal is acceptance of the new reality and a return to a normal routine without struggling twenty-four/seven. Erich Lindemann in his work Symptomatology and Management and Acute Grief in Crisis Intervention stated that mourners have seven needs – support from others, emancipation from the deceased, acceptance of the pain of bereavement, expression of sorrow and sense of loss, verbalization of hostility and guilt, formation of new relationships and finding meaning in life. All of these can be achieved whether anyone who is walking the journey with grief understands the specific steps identified above or not. Yes, there is a growth from pain and sorrow to acceptance of the new reality and the ability to build a meaningful and joyous life. Success does take work and support and is achievable.
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