LIFE ADVICE Dealing with the death @ Depression - is when the sadness starts to settle into your life and daily activities. It is when you feel that you are too sad to do anything and lose interest in your life and the lives of those around you. @ Acceptance - is that stage when a person starts to be at peace with the death and finds ways of living without the person they have lost. Mbuyi Gumede, a counsellor from Port Shepstone in KwaZulu-Natal, says that grieving is a very complicated process.
People can sometimes find themselves stuck in one phase for so long, that they reach a point of not being able to function properly. "Ideally, the phase that should be reached is acceptance, but people also have to understand that going through these phases is a very natural thing to do and that you may have to go through each phase in order to heal." i Remember, there is no typical process for grieving because there is no such thing as a typical loss. Grieving is a very personal and individual process.
Do not believe the myths about grief In many communities, particularly black ones, one is only expected to mourn at the funeral, until the cleansing ceremony. Often if you show any signs of grief after that time, people might think you are either too dramatic or might be losing your sanity Mbuyi says, "There are so many myths about grief and mourning, especially if one has lost a child, parent or partner. People, especially elders, think that they can tell you how to grieve and that's the way you should do it. But it is important to be strong in the face of loss. Ignoring your feelings and pain for the sake of others is unhealthy." Mbuyi says myths associated with grief include: This too shall pass. @ The pain will go away faster if you ignore it. Â® It is important to be strong in the face of loss. @ If you do not cry it means that you are not sorry about the loss.
He adds that usually the problem in dealing with the loss of a loved one is that everyone is focused on you while you are going through this emotionally testing time. They will always find something to say about your grief, your coping mechanisms and what you are doing 'wrong' in your period of grieving. It really is very selfish of people to think that you have to fit into a certain example and myth, while you are grieving, because it is the expected thing to do." iÂ«S i Si 'HP Do not let anyone force you into believing their ideas and myths about grieving. Dealing with the death of a loved one is very personal; everyone has a different way of doing this.
The last thing you need is to accommodate everyone's opinion and expectation about what you should do when mourning. Some common symptoms of grief Different people react to the death of a loved one differently, but there are common symptoms that many people go through when they are in mourning. Shock and disbelief: We have all found ourselves refusing to believe that someone we love has died. In some cases, we keep expecting them to walk through the door any moment to ask us why we are crying. Sadness: The loss of a loved one, someone that you shared special moments of your life with, can bring feelings of misery, longing, heartache and deep loneliness.
Anger and guilt: When people hear about the passing of a loved one, they can get out of control and blame themselves for the death. Anger is another common response because they can begin to shout at the person who has passed away and 'hate' them for leaving them alone. "Death is like a break-up in a relationship, only you are not given the option of making things right. It is an involuntary break-up and one that you cannot prevent," says Mbuyi. Fear: Death can make us question our own time in this world. Mbuyi says that death of a parent is one of the worst losses we experience. We all expect our parents to pass away before us and once they do, we suddenly realise we are not as protected as we thought. It is because even as adults we still see our parents as strong - therefore the death of a parent can be especially traumatic to most people." Ask for support: When you are mourning, it is fine to ask for help, especially from family, friends and your partner. "Just because you had a closer relationship with the person who passed away does not give you the right to mistreat others and disregard their feelings," says Mbuyi.
Draw comfort from your faith. It is helpful to have a higher power to turn to when you are mourning. Talking about your grief is the best thing you can do for yourself. Pain, praying and talking to God can offer you real comfort Take care of yourself: People have different ways of dealing with the death of a loved one. But don't ignore your grief. Grief doesn't go away completely, but with time, support from others and in some cases, counselling helps; grief stops being centre stage in our lives. *** 5 To speak to a trained counsellor or get a psychologist referral from The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), call 0800 20 50 26