Bereavement

Bay Cluster Network

‘I’m sorry, it is not the news we were hoping for…’

On this occasion it was different. This wasn’t an exam, this wasn’t us breaking bad news to a patient.  It was a consultant breaking bad news to us about our beloved mum. It is almost four years exactly since we lost our mum and we think and talk about her every single day.

At Bay magazine, Sarla Langdon an integral part of the team that helped deliver this wonderful magazine on a monthly basis, passed away earlier this year.

In dedication to both our Mum and Ms Langdon, this month we have decided to focus on bereavement.

It is a distressing and unfortunately common experience that all of us will endure during our lifetime. There is no right way to experience bereavement so in this article we mention some feelings one may feel when they are grieving. Each individual will cope differently and it’s important to remember there is no right or wrong way to feel.

It is widely accepted that there are generally four main stages of bereavement:-

  • Acceptance – accepting that the loss is real
  • Experiencing the pain of grief
  • Adjusting to life without the loved one
  • Moving on/learning to live with the loss

Humans grieve after any sort of loss. It is not just one feeling that may be experienced but a whole succession of feelings that may occur in any order and may make you feel chaotic.

Feelings of grief include:-

Shock and numbness – These feelings may occur hours, days or weeks after the loss of a loved one. This may occur even if the death was expected.  Some describe the emotional numbness is what helps them get through the practical arrangements that have to be made for example organising a funeral or informing friends and family.

    Yearning – It is totally normal to experience pining for the loved one. This feeling can make it difficult to relax or concentrate.

    Anger and guilt – These feelings may be directed towards many people. For example; towards other family members or even to the person that has died. It is also common to feel guilt. For example; guilt of something you may have liked to say or do.

    Agitation – The feeling of agitation can feel strongest a few weeks after the death. It is often followed by sadness or depression and withdrawal. These sudden changes in emotion can also be hard for friends and relatives but are normal parts of the grieving process.

In time, these feelings which can be intense, begin to fade. The feelings of sadness may lessen and it is possible to start looking to the future.

    Final phase of grieving – This is the letting go. The depression clears, sleep improves and energy levels return to normal.

The sense of losing a loved one or part of yourself may never go completely, but with time and through different ways it is possible to learn to live with the loss.

We have constant reminders of our mum, whether it be the smell of the fresh fruit and vegetables or the same things we say to our children that she used to say to us. Every life event we wish she was here to see but we truly believe “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

If you have any concerns or would like further help this is the National Cruse Helpline 0808 808 1677

And as always please don’t hesitate to contact your GP for any further guidance and support.

 

 

 

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