Dealing With Death - Understanding
Grief and How to Move On
By Emilie Warren
Coping with bereavement is not an easy thing to do. We
need to take time. We need to have courage. We need to
understand and make an effort to move on.
Inevitably we will all lose someone close to us, be it a
spouse, a partner, a friend or a child. When it is
someone very close, we become different people ourselves
and we need to recognise this.
One of the most important things we can do to help
ourselves to recover is to understand that a change has
occurred. This change will affect us all in many ways,
large and small. Some of the changes we find in
ourselves will only emerge as time passes.
There are some things we can do to understand the
changes and the progress of our grief.
First, we should accept the loss rationally.
It can be helpful to tell ourselves a story of what has
happened. By considering what has occurred and how the
death happened, we can create a picture for ourselves of
what happened over a few hours or weeks. If the departed
had been suffering from a long illness, the account may
cover many years.
By simple trying to answer the questions "What happened?
Why did this happen? Why has this happened to me?" we
know that this is helpful to many, many people. This is
the case even if there can be no real answer. By telling
the story of how the death occurred you can be drawn
away from thinking of only the moment of death. You can
begin to understand your loss.
Next, we should accept our loss emotionally.
In grieving, it can be helpful for us not to avoid
reminders of our loss, as it can help us to accept our
loss emotionally, in our hearts.
We know that we are beginning to accept the loss we have
suffered when we stop trying to avoid these reminders,
as they may cause us too much suffering or cause us to
break down. However, we should know that each reminder
can bring a lessening of distress.
Emotional acceptance of a loss of someone we have loved
can never really be complete. They have been a part of
the journey of our lives. But by remembering our lives
together, we can find an acceptance in having memories
of happy times together, rather than dwelling on death
Finally we should discover who we are now.
Once we have begun to accept our loss in our minds and
in our hearts, we do need to discover that we are
someone new; and we need to reassess our identity. This
is a vital part of dealing with bereavement. For some,
this is just a matter of time. For others religious
ceremonies may help. For others, it can help to talk
The traditional wearing of black during a period of
mourning is a symbol of discovering our new self, a
period without pressure before we 'wear' our new