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Understanding the grieving process

The sudden loss of a loved one can throw people’s lives into a tailspin, especially when it is not expected. A car accident, a medical complication or even a defective product can leave people with unanswered questions and a mixture of emotion. Therefore, it is important for people in Atlanta to understand the grieving process.

According to Mental Health America, when a person loses a spouse, they lose more than just a loved one. They lose an entire way of life and their best friend. Additionally, they can find themselves struggling with finances, adding to their stress. A child’s death could leave parents feeling a loss of self-identity, guilt or injustice. Other emotions involved may include the following:

  •          Shock
  •          Anger
  •          Disbelief
  •          Sadness
  •          Denial
  •          Humiliation

In addition to feelings, people coping with a loss may experience physical signs such as intestinal upsets, loss of appetite, loss of energy and even stomach pain. Psychological suffering can come in the form of depression.

HelpGuide, a site for social, emotional and mental health, states that the grieving process is different for everyone. Some people may be able to recover within a couple of months while others may take longer to feel somewhat normal again. Rather than hide pain, however, people should allow their sadness or loneliness to show as it is a normal part of the process. In fact, it could make it more difficult for them to come to terms with their loss if they try to dismiss it.

What people should also know is that their feelings are their own. Therefore, they should not listen to what other people say about how they should feel. Creating a photo album, writing the loved one a letter or keeping a journal can help people express their emotions in a productive manner. Additionally, they should seek comfort through meeting with a grief counselor, their religious beliefs, family, support groups or friends.

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