Perhaps one of the most terrible things about life is that it ends. At the same time, the fragility of life is perhaps what also makes it beautiful and precious for many of us. And so, it is perhaps most painful when we have to see others die than it is to finally succumb ourselves. In the behavioral health profession this process of experiencing the death of others is referred to at grief and loss… Most of us do not handle it very well. Both the lead up to it, the moment when it happens and then our often long process of trying to understand and deal with it.
The Policy ThinkShop recommends the following Harvard medical resource to help you broaden your perspective on death and dying–the inevitable crisis we often face more than once in our lives.
“Compassionate advice for dealing with the loss of a loved one. The loss of a loved one can be a profoundly painful experience. The grief that follows may permeate everything, making it hard to eat, sleep, or muster much interest in the life going on around you.
This emotional maelstrom can affect behavior and judgment. It’s common, for example, to feel agitated or exhausted, to sob unexpectedly, or to withdraw from the world. Some people find themselves struggling with feelings of sorrow, numbness, anger, guilt, despair, irritability, relief, or anxiety.
While no words can erase grief, Coping with Grief and Loss can help you navigate this turbulent time.
In its pages, you’ll find advice on comforting yourself, commemorating your loved one, and understanding the difference between grief and depression. You’ll also find special sections on coping with the loss of a child, parent, or spouse.
Coping with Grief and Loss also includes information on navigating life when a loved one is terminally ill, on end-of-life planning, and on ways to talk about death.
Loss affects people in different ways. There is no “right” way to grieve, and no timetable or schedule for grieving. This Special Health Report aims to help you cope with the loss of a loved one at your own pace and in your own way. It offers numerous physical, emotional, and social strategies that help healing take place.”