Dealing with the Loss of a Loved One-1

Over time, ponds may dry up, but they don’t disappear. Healing takes time.

Sometimes people share with me heartbreaking incidents of how they lost their loved one. There are those who lost their son or daughter, a sibling or a parent untimely or unexpectedly. Many a time, it is so gut-wrenching that even as an objective listener my eyes well up. The shock, the trauma, the pain is unbearable for them, almost like it would never heal. They ask me what can they do to get over the pain. Let me share with you how I see it.

Death is inevitable. Everyone we know will die one day. All of us are on a train and each one of us must get off eventually. Some disembark sooner and others later than us. We know it is only a matter of time yet it can catch one off-guard, like someone emerging in front of you out of nowhere. When one is mentally prepared, when one sits in expectation, in anticipation, it becomes relatively easy to prepare for even one’s own death. This is rarely possible though. We may get the time to prepare ourselves if the loved one is terminally ill but it still doesn’t mean we have come to terms with it. The one who is gone is gone, the ones left behind face the greatest challenge, greater than the death itself.

Various religions offer different perspectives. Some promise rebirth, others, heaven, some salvation and so on. All those are theories, their rewards of promises may inspire an individual to do the right thing while living, they may offer consolation to those left behind, such promises remain unproven claims though. Nothing beyond that. While on the topic of death and bereavement, I could quote you from Bhagavad Gita, from Bible, from Buddhist texts and the rest but I do not wish to offer you consolation, it is not my aim to introduce you to some philosophy. Instead, I just wish to share my own thoughts.

First and foremost, I want you to know that you will never be able to forget them. Any efforts you specifically direct at forgetting them will only make you miss them a great deal more. This is the harsh truth. And why should you forget them? Would you like to be forgotten when you are gone? When you begin to understand and accept the fact that the departed one has a permanent place in your heart, in your memory, in your life, a subtle healing begins. Do not force yourself to erase them from your memories, to exclude them, just let it be for a while, let Nature take its own course, let it settle. Bereavement heals one over time.

Grief has two key elements, namely, shock and denial. When you lose someone suddenly, to an accident for example, it takes much longer to get over the shock. Primarily because Nature did not grant you the time to get ready, to prepare yourself mentally. We slip into a state of denial and disbelief. That leads to an inner resistance. And such resistance leads to inner struggle, depression and melancholy. When you lose someone to a terminal illness or someone who battled for life for a long period before they passed away, the shock and denial is not any less, it is just of different type. Either way, it is traumatic. Imagine losing a limb, no matter how dexterous or perfect the artificial limb, it can never match the original. The void created by the death of someone can only ever be partially, imperfectly filled.

Om Namah Shivay

***Write ” Om Namah Shivay ” if you ask for God’s blessing on your life today. Please Like, Tag and Share to bless others!


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