HOW TO DEAL WITH LOSS & GRIEF

By Geojoannes T. Imbenzi Follow this Author on Twitter

“Sorrow makes us all children again – destroys all differences of intellect. The wisest know nothing.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are so many things that are inevitable in this world. One of them is change, the other one is loss. We can never run away from losing something or someone. Usually, we find ourselves in positions where we have no control over the losses we experience as human beings. Further, loss does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone at any time.

When one loses something, it is never easy to come to terms with it. This is especially due to the value attached and the irreplaceability. Actually, the whole experience of loss is as a result of feeling that something very precious to us has suddenly been taken away.

Loss has many forms; the most relatable being the loss of a loved one to death or the end of a relationship (dating, courtship or marriage). Other forms of loss include: loss of a loved one through kidnapping, the loss of property (including phones and handbags), the loss of a job or source of income, or even the loss of part of your body, perhaps through amputation or disease. It could be any loss. Never underestimate anyone’s type of loss. What may appear simple to you may be very gross to someone else.

We often don’t know how to behave or carry ourselves around someone who is grieving. We constantly evaluate what to, or what not to say. Most of the time, we just want to be there for them and help out in the best way we know how, and if it’s a loss through death, help in contributions and accompanying the family for burial. This is the much we get to do, which is very noble.

However, in situations of loss and grief, most people just need three things: support, a listening ear and some kind of understanding. One usually wishes or desires that those around them would just understand what they are going through, instead of trying to hasten their healing process.

Grieving or mourning any form of a loss is a natural process that should be allowed to take its full course. However, it should be of concern if one seems to be stagnated in the same state for too long.

So, how can one carry themselves through a season or moment of loss?

  • Feel free to talk about the lost item or person; find someone you trust and share with them how you feel. See a therapist/counselor for help.
  • Deal with any traumatic memory you may have (e.g. robbery at gunpoint); the one mistake we make is shelving and acting strong, which can sometimes lead to depression- PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). See a therapist/counselor for help in ways of dealing with such memories.
  • Deal with guilty consciousness; We feel guilty because things we did or did not do that led to loss. It can lead to withdrawal, which may eventually be very tragic. See a therapist/counselor for help in ways of dealing with guilt.
  • Get involved in healthy activities like daily exercise, taking enough sleep and maintaining a healthy diet. It helps with maintaining a steady frame of mind.

Remember, the worst one can do is behaving like nothing happened!

Geojoannes is a is a practicing laboratory technologist, and psychologist based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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