As one reaches the age of sixty-five, the loss of a close friend or family member has made an entrance. Each individual grieves differently… some privately and others by propelling themselves into a whirlwind of activities. Personal grief is impossible to share but as humans we want to help loved ones during difficult times.
Kubler Ross breaks grief into five stages occurring in no particular order. Here are tips to help a loved one through each phase.
Denial: “This is not happening to me.” There are no words to soften death, but the power of touch, hugs, or an understanding look, helps to calm and communicate your compassion. Demonstrate with or without words you will be there for your loved one, whether in thought or action.
Anger: “ Why me? “ It is difficult for one to remember others may be also experiencing a loss. Suggest a grief support group where people are expressing the same emotions. Help find healthy outlets for anger such as a brisk walk. Anger is normal as long as the person is not a danger to themselves or others.
Bargaining: “ I will do anything.”” If only…” Help loved ones work through the process of “bargaining” step by step and attempt to point out the outcomes of each negotiation. Discuss the futility of dealing in the past and apply what has been learned to justify the cause of their grief.
Depression: “ I want to die.” Share how important they are to you and others. Let them know it is okay to cry. Grief takes time. Should your loved one isolate themselves for unreasonable periods or have suicidal thoughts reach out to a professional. Medications exist to help with sleeplessness, fatigue, or an inability to function normally. Suggest a mental health counselor specializing in grief.
Acceptance: “ I am going to be okay.” Acceptance is not synonymous with happiness but is realistic. Count blessings with your Senior. Be positive and cheerful. Help establish a pattern of activity. Encourage the person grieving to anticipate the future.
Bridge to Better Living has seen the pain of loss in clients’ lives. Compassionate consultants take time to understand the needs and wants of those who are left behind and do not rush decisions. Bridge to Better Living knows grief comes from great love and respects each individual. Contact them today and take a step towards maintaining Quality of Life… because you deserve to do so.