Can You Ever Really Get Over Losing a Loved One?

 Can You Ever Really Get Over Losing a Loved One?

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If you've lost a loved one, you've probably understood how many emotions and sentiments come with the unexpected or expected loss of a loved one.

No matter where you are in your mourning process, remember that your feelings are valid and that you are not on anybody else's timeframe for healing.

This article discusses how people cope with the immediate and long-term consequences of loss. It also goes through ways to deal with unpleasant memories or emotions of guilt.

How to Cope in the Immediate Aftermath of Loss

Dr. Frank Anderson, MD, a psychotherapist and psychiatrist specializing in the treatment of trauma argues that there is frequently a lot of pressure in today's culture to move on and recover quickly after a loss. As a result, he is certain that the goal should not be to just move on and get over someone.

Remember to Show Yourself Compassion

Healing takes time, and you should be patient and gracious to yourself as you move through your grief at your own pace.

Allow Yourself to Experience a Range of Emotions

Rather than focusing on different stages of grieving and attempting to rush through them, research shows that it can be dangerous to adhere so rigidly to preconceived notions of what the steps will look like, especially for those who do not believe that has been their experience.

Dr. Anderson reiterates a similar suggestion, stating that the goal should be to settle into a pleasant mental state rather than fretting about where you believe you should be.

Anderson explains a very common experience of someone grieving a loss: they receive an outpouring of love and support in the early aftermath of the loss, then feel isolated when everyone else returns to normal.

Remember That Healing Takes Time

While it's natural to feel compelled to move on, it's OK to pause and reflect. Dr. Anderson emphasizes that it takes time to process all of the emotions that come with a loss, and people should feel free to take as much time as they need.

He observes that he frequently finds himself reminding clients that it has only been a short time since they expressed a desire to be free of their sadness. "When dealing with grief and loss, the passage of time is vital," he explains.

How to Cope After Time Has Passed

Dr. Anderson shares how he helps people heal after some time has passed following a loss.

Embrace Memories

In general, Anderson urges people to welcome memories or dreams that surface from time to time.

"I find that persons who constantly think about the person or relive memories or events relating to their loved one frequently have portions of themselves that are striving to keep the memories alive," Anderson adds.

He implies that the mind is attempting to keep that person's memory alive and well. While you may be unable to move on, your mind may be attempting to hold on to the memories that have brought you delight.

Anderson adds that if your mind is constantly rehearsing something, it could be an essential memory that will bring you comfort while you heal.

Don't Bury Your Feelings

According to Dr. Anderson, he urges his clients to focus on what they are feeling in the present moment, which can often lead to recovery. When this is done well, people frequently feel more validated because they have actually pondered what they are feeling.

Finding Meaning From the Loss

According to research, many people reach a point of recovery once they believe they have extracted purpose and significance from their loss. This is especially true when people can accept many emotions at the same time, i.e. they can accept their sadness while still holding on to the importance of the connection. This can assist people in reaching a point where it is simpler to regulate their emotions.

Keep in Mind That Negative Memories Are Normal.

Coping with the loss of a loved one might be especially difficult if you believe you never made peace with them over anything personal. People are also prone to repeat all they could have done to provide better mental, emotional, or physical assistance.

While these things are common, it's reasonable if they complicate healing.

According to Dr. Anderson, "negative recollections or emotions of guilt are also a typical part of the grieving process." "I assist customers in tracing the origins of their feelings."

Dr. Anderson says he works to "validate these parts of my client, letting them know I understand why they would feel this way and gently help them come to terms with the vulnerability and true lack of control any of us have over the inevitability of loss in our lives," especially when clients are constantly re-hashing things they wish they had done.

Can You Ever Really Move On From the Loss of a Loved One?

While finding purpose after a loss is frequently emphasized, it can be difficult to comprehend what that implies.

Researchers followed three persons following the death of a loved one and checked in with them immediately after, one year, 13 months, and 18 months afterward.

For their research, they defined meaning as the ability to make sense of an event and find value in the experience. Making sense of the loss was critical throughout the first year, and it even reduced stress. However, benefit-finding was more essential in assessing a person's long-term ability to adjust.

This lends credence to the notion that the ability to derive meaning while experiencing grief and other emotions is crucial to reaching a point of healing.

Every person will have a different idea of what it means to move on. It means you've gotten to the point where you don't think about them every minute of every day, or that you're comforted by coming across memories of the loved one.

The Type of Loss Matters

The ability to heal can also be affected by whether the loss was expected or unexpected. According to research, abrupt losses can cause PTSD in close family members, and group treatment may be beneficial. Families that have had to care for a loved one who has a long-term illness tend to experience more feelings of helplessness, which is mostly due to their wish to help care for their loved one when they were alive.

A Word From Ichhori

It is essential to prioritize your mental health regardless of where you are in your healing process. Healing is never a straight line, and it is frequently unpleasant. Avoid comparing your healing journey to that of others or their coping skills.

Allow yourself to heal at your own speed. And never, ever feel guilty for seeking help from mental health professionals or friends and family.

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