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Keeping Sanity Intact: 8 Lessons About Grieving

For the past few years, Philippines’ emotional state was greatly shook by crises like the Zamboanga siege and super typhoon Yolanda. The country still continues to grieve for the lost lives of family members and is slowly building back the little pieces of damaged properties.8-lesson-grieving-hands

The most recent encounter that the whole country grieves for is the 2015 Mamasapano Clash between the Special Action Force (SAF) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) last January 25-26, 2015 at Tukanalipao, Mamasapano, Maguindanao, which led to brutal killings of 44 SAF members.

Also, individual entities encounter different situations that could result to loss. A person may experience losing all his family members in a span of 5 months. Somewhere out there is a head of the family who has just been fired. Little children who do not have any idea of their biological age proliferate the city streets. When a person is taken away of what others have and enjoy, it really is impossible not to grieve.

People who are in the grieving process think that it is probably the worst condition someone could be in. Some fear the feeling of loss will never disappear. Others just don’t find the strength to go on. However, the truth remains that like any other occurrence, loss has its end.

So here are 8 lessons about grieving that are vital to be shared to persons that are having a hard time.

  1. Grieving and Gratefulness. Too often we realize that when there is an actual loss, messages of warmth, love, and support pour in. The purpose of this is to actually give the grieving person reasons to get by and ultimately, move on from the pain and suffering. Think of gratefulness as a potent antidote to grieving. With appreciation, anguish is prevented and with acknowledgment, longing is diminished. A grieving person should be surrounded by notes or letters of support as this thing will keep him steady while traversing the winding road of grief.
  1. Respite in Living the Life. Probably one of the gravest downfall that can happen to a person in grief is to stop the connection between the now and the previous living pattern. The pain of losing can be so consuming that the connection between the person and his life can just end abruptly. People who are suffering with loss can actually benefit from talks concerning the usual activities like the showing of the movie that person is anticipating, dining in a favorite restaurant, or the upcoming community activities. These things are easier to talk about and less exhausting than answering all the how are you questions. Also, these provide distractions which can be beneficial in grieving times.
  1. There are lighter moments. Grieving does not come in full shade of black. More often, it is a constant flip between sorrow and lightness. People may find comfort in the memory of the lost person and then five minutes after mourn for it because it is already gone.
  1. Do what you need to do. Grieving persons in movies are depicted with sheets above their head, unkempt hair, disastrous homes, and accumulated unwashed dishes and pizza boxes. But it must be kept in mind that strict isolation can only add to the weight of the absence that is pressing on the chest. Although the bad feelings will follow the person everywhere, doing what needs to be done to sustain the remaining intact aspects of one’s life is essential to prevention of breakdown.
  1. Taking time is beneficial but don’t keep waiting for too long. It is true that life can wait. People may express their thoughts about how unnecessarily long a person’s length of grieving is. However, it is acceptable to say no to invitations sometimes. A grieving person is regrouping and may need additional time to climb those walls.
  1. Express what you need. Communication and meeting halfway is essential to achieving mutual understanding and respect between support system and the grieving person.
  1. There is no magic formula to get over the experience of a dramatic life event. Usual activities may require more energy, focus, and effort. Take a deep breath from time to time.
  1. Embrace things as they are. While it is true that support systems will be so generous of their time and understanding, things will slightly change as they try to move on with their lives too. They will be occupied with their work, families, children, and other responsibilities. A grieving person may feel stuck while everyone around him is moving on but it should be remembered that the only way to go is forward.

The grieving process is an individualized process. Every person has his own set of reactions while undergoing this phase. While the brighter spot may seem so impossible at first, it is true that with little steps, getting by with life won’t feel beyond reach.

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