DEALING WITH LIFE AFTER OTHER'S
Death is the extreme condition of human being but own death is never experienced, one sizes up the gravity of death from other people’s demise. As Joshua Burns puts it, 'The trouble with quotes about death is that 99.99 percent of them are made by people who are alive'. One does not have a concept about own death.
Death and thoughts about death is distressing. Each time it happens to people around us, our own death anxiety comes into the forefront however life is led with the backdrop of death and the implicit realisation that life is finite.
THE FULL GRASP OCCURS AS ONE NATURALLY PROGRESSES TO ADVANCING YEARS OR WHEN ONE BECOMES TERMINALLY ILL.
LOSING A LOVED ONE IS A DIFFICULT EXPERIENCE
Despite knowing about the finitude of life, we will inescapably experience intense grief at the loss of a loved one in life. Grief cuts through the placidity of familiarity to cause insufferable pain for a while but the longevity of this suffering will depend upon individual view of the world. With passage of time, intensity of grief reduces and readjustment occurs. Most cope with loss however for a few, reconciliation hasn’t happened.
COUNSELLING OFFERS RESPITE BOTH IN TERMS OF DEALING WITH THE LOSS AND MORE IMPORTANTLY; GENERATING UNDERSTANDING ABOUT ONE'S BEING-TOWARDS-LOSS
What do people experience ?
While they are in the throes of bereavement?
These feelings/emotions/experience is in no particular order. Not everyone going through bereavement will experience all the above. These are cyclical, may present itself at varied points in time. The above are indicative experiences, there are others such as physical pain, loneliness, confusion, hallucinations, sleep & appetite disturbances, overeating, and so forth but we have categorised the more frequent occurrences above.
Dealing with terminal illness
Bleak prognosis and with months or a few years to live is an agonizing position to find oneself in; both for the sufferer as well as family and friends. Metastising Cancer, Dementia (including Alzheimer's), motor neurone disease, lung disease, AIDS, advanced heart disease, other accidental eventualities are some of the typical terminal illness conditions. It could strike anyone and shake the familial foundations. End stage illness can be incurable but can be managed with medication, life-style changes, acceptance, supportive environment and psychotherapy.
DYING AS A CONCEPT APPLIED TO THE TERMINALLY ILL IS A MARGINALISED VIEW OF THEIR EXISTENCE.
ALL OF US ARE FINITE BEINGS BUT SOME UNFORTUNATELY HAVE THEIR FINITUDE AND LONGEVITY ANNOUNCED EARLIER TO THEM THROUGH TERMINAL ILLNESS AND THIS CAN BE OVERWHELMING.
LET US TREAT THE HUMAN CONDITION AND NOT ILLNESS.
Death is an existential issue
GRIEF & MOURNING
IF ATTACHMENT IS STRONG, INTENSE GRIEF WILL ENSUE
Grief is an internal process after loss which invokes thoughts, feelings, memories, images etc. in one’s mind. The internal constituents of grief, if expressed outside is called mourning, and is the normal response to grief. It is the full expression of sorrow (feeling the pain & despair, crying, funeral event, praying etc., sharing with someone) and involves both personal and collective response.
HEALTHY MOURNING ALLEVIATES GRIEF & HELPS RE-INTEGRATION
When it is thwarted, it could eventuate into pathological grief (depression, suicidal intent, chronic distress, dysfunctional behaviour)
DEALING ALONE WITH LOSS MAY BE DAUNTING & PROTRACTED
THERAPY IS ABOUT ACTIVELY SHARING EXPERIENCE OF LOSS