Keys to overcome loss and grief

Throughout life we ​​suffer constant losses. «As soon as we are born, we lose a quiet, warm and comfortable space to reach a cold and unexpected environment» reflects Carmen Jódar , a family medicine specialist in mimedicoonline. “Understanding now that vital moment as a first loss in our life , we could reflect to our present moment how many losses and separations we have suffered without surely being able to list them all,” he continues. It is very likely that many of them have been overcome almost unconsciously. However there are others that cannot be forgotten. The last and most feared loss is that of death itself or that of our loved ones.

Pangrazzi classifies the types of vital losses into five large blocks:

The first referred to material losses , work, housing, economic situation … This type of loss sometimes leads to an associated gain if for example the change of housing is a better place, however we leave behind friends, neighbors , a previous life that as adults we accept better than a child who leaves behind a school, his friends and the security he had.

The second block points to the losses linked to the development of the person , those related to the life cycle itself: the transition from childhood to adolescence, to adulthood or when we move to independence especially if that means a physical remoteness from the family; when life goes by, an especially hard one arrives, which is the step to old age.

The third refers to the losses referred to our body , whether they are properly physical or loss of illusions, values, emotions, health, even the loss of our self-esteem. We become aware of the loss of health when we experience it in our own body being especially difficult and it really changes our attitude towards life with the diagnosis of a serious illness in ourselves or our loved ones. It is difficult to write about the loss of self-esteem, it is an internal pain similar to abuse …

The fourth is that of emotional losses such as ruptures with the couple or friends. This is the one that most closely resembles the last block.

The fifth is the loss of life . It is a type of total loss, either of another person or of one’s own life in cases of terminal illnesses in which the individual faces its end.

These last two blocks, the emotional transformation of the loss has a certain similarity , because with separation and even more with the death of a loved one, we accept sadness as a normal feeling and allow ourselves to cry as a form of expression.

The duel

Only when a time that we consider reasonable happens is when we consult the doctor without analyzing where it is written or who determines that prudential time. Time does not recover the damage suffered, we recover it ourselves with the elaboration of our duel ; Time is individual. The missing person does not return, but there is a feeling of gratitude in our heart that we could enjoy that loved one and we definitely improve when those memories “no longer hurt”, when sadness is mitigated by new illusions of life then passing to Last phase of the duel that is acceptance.

The grieving process is carried out whenever a loss takes place but curiously, assuming the pain of the loss of human life, we do not accept it the same in the rest of the vital circumstances listed even if we recognize the internal suffering in all of them. However, it is described that in all those moments that we can call “vital trauma” or “stressful life situation” the different spheres of the person are affected: the physical, cognitive, emotional, spiritual, social and behavioral sphere creating even resentment towards others and sometimes even loneliness.

The social attitude towards loss has followed and is following in our environment a parallel path to human behavior before death: something annoying and therefore, we tend towards its concealment and isolation.

We are facing an increasingly selfish society, not only do we not want to suffer but we avoid contacting someone who suffers close in case they drag us towards their helplessness. The illness of someone close to us makes us feel vulnerable, fragile, makes us think that it can happen to us, and that generates a very deep torment that we do not want to experience. That makes people suffering from a difficult disease to treat often feel isolated and rejected.

The intensity of pain in that emotional sphere is as individual as the exclusivity of each person and these contained emotions act generating permanent tensions that our body can express as a physical symptom, as a painful reminder that I am ignoring some important emotion. It is the so-called masked duel. The person experiences physical symptoms (somatizations) and in his behavior that cause him suffering, but does not relate them to the loss.

There is research that shows that the state of stress is closely related to immunosuppression and, therefore, our body is more vulnerable to disease when this phase of distress passes.

To recover you have to allow yourself to talk with yourself , dive inside, meet and discover without fear, without denying what we find but not recreating in pain, but accepting the damage suffered to let go and especially learn from the experience and of ourselves.

We have to review our losses , look for the origin of the pain and work in this space to appease it. Only in this way can we understand the disease and reduce the symptoms and reconcile with our lives. It means making peace with ourselves: accepting and forgiving us.

Cabodevilla says that “No one can take away our suffering, but the ability to look at it face to face is already the beginning of a path to overcome it.” Taking care of our interior is the first step towards its overcoming.

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