The death of another who is close to us, someone who was an integral part of our world, opens up an unfilled void within us. From that moment the longing and the feeling of sadness flood us constantly, and if that is not enough then in addition feelings of guilt arise. These difficult feelings can also be added to a life crisis, the death of someone close raises a question about the purpose of life and what we are actually doing here. The death of someone else brings us closer to the feeling of death and can actually make us anxious about our own death. In children, it often makes them feel withdrawn or sad that they won’t be able to see that person again. Usually the hard feelings that are so enormous at first disrupt our functioning, but over time and gradually life returns to normal. We will continue to remember and hurt but in a concentrated manner and at defined periods of time. Life will fill our cups again. The grieving process in dealing with loss is natural and in most cases takes up to a year. In children, you must remain patient.
The denial phase
The denial phase in dealing with loss is characterized by an emotion of market and shock. The general feeling is of: “It can not be”, “It is inconceivable”, “I do not believe” so it lasts for the first days and weeks until the knowledge permeates and is perceived in our psyche. Because how can one perceive that someone was perhaps so full of life and suddenly is gone, it is truly inconceivable! In the denial phase, we do not grasp the information and its emotional significance. Our defense mechanisms protect us. If we grasp all the meaning at once we will most likely collapse mentally. The pain will be too great. That is why our brain “digests” the information in parts, bit by bit, that way we can get used to the idea and process it. However, there are many things to deal with. Such as insurance companies, perhaps arranging the funeral, looking at funeral flowers and more. This distraction is not always a good one.
Denial gives way to anger and rage. Anger at the world, at the doctors, at the government, at God, at everything. Anger, like denial and its aftermath, helps in dealing with death and loss. It is easier to be angry than to be in pain. In anger the pain is directed outwards towards the world, blaming everyone, frustrated. Anger releases the emotion of pain and in this way releases some of it. In anger we within our irrational content think that something can still be changed.
Depression and anxiety
Next comes possible depression and anxiety. Usually several weeks after the loss. When the gap is felt, and this stage is accompanied by physical exhaustion and a desperation for life to return to normal. However, in children, they don’t fully understand or comprehend, which is why you must be gentle with them. Even though you’re suffering, so are they. However, slowly, the sadness passes, slowly you see the light at the end of the tunnel, for everyone.