Grief refers to the set of psychological and social processes someone goes through after losing someone close to them.
The loss of a loved one is an experience that needs to be shared and supported, as stated by psychiatrist María Mercedes Uribe on the Universidad de Antioquia’s website, Saludando. The specialist states that, due to our current context, questions may arise such as: Could drastic measures have prevented it? How could I not have noticed it before? Did they suffer?
Additionally, it is not possible to go through the regular stages of grief, and this may cause further emotional disturbance. However, this does not mean that rituals or symbolic acts cannot be performed to help express what is being felt. “This type of action, by having a symbolic and emotional charge, allows us to connect with the pain, helps internalize what has happened, and understand how it is being experienced,” the doctor explains on the website.
In these situations, the specialist gives the following tips for grief management:
- Express your feelings: this is a stage of listening and empathizing with the mourner without trying to believe you know what the other person is feeling.
- Accept emotions: recognize that anger toward the deceased, other family members, health care personnel, or God is common. This is part of the grieving process.
- Plan for the future: planning activities in the near future and following routines help reduce uncertainty.
- Limit activities: avoid multiple visits to the cemetery or frequent visits to relatives of the deceased.
- Instill hope: give optimism and support without false hopes or promises.
- Keep in mind that professional help is available to help you cope with this situation if you have thought about taking your own life as a result or if it is difficult for you to do daily activities.
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