Chapter 48

Bereavement


Good cheer about death and know this as a truth Ė
that no evil can happen to a good man, either in life
or after death.

Socrates




The loss of a loved one is usually a very traumatic experience. While people react differently, most people go through various stages as they try and cope.


The first stage is of denial. Refusing to accept that the person is gone, continuing to talk to the departed one, making their bed, meals, calling out their name, and so on. You may feel guilty that you are responsible in some way, or that one did not do enough for the departed one.



The next stage is anger with god, others, hospitals, doctors, even with yourself.


Next comes depression and loneliness, feeling lost, helpless and unable to think anything positive or get involved in any activity.


Finally is the acceptance while the sadness and missing the person may continue for years, the ability to cope and move on with life returns.


Some people experience a loss of appetite, inability to sleep, moodiness, etc. For them the impact of the grief of bereavement can be debilitating, both body and mind and take a heavy toll on their health.

Dr Mathew Lieberman a psychologist at the University of California in Los Angeles and his colleagues have found through tests carried out on volunteers that emotional pain caused by a bereavement or relationship challenges, etc. causes the same suffering as physical pain caused by an injury.


This has been found as the brainís pain centre known as the anterior singulate gets activated similarly in both types of situations.


Talking about the departed one and the momentís one shared, can cause a surge of emotions and tears, and also releases the pent up pain. While most men resist shedding tears, it perfectly normal and human for you to do so.

Physical and deep breathing exercises and immersing in activities are other ways to cope with bereavement.


Setting up a memorial in the form of a physical structure such as a statue or a monument, are means that people resort to in order to fell better and remember the person. Setting up charities or charitable projects like schools, hospitals, education trusts are other ways that people immortalize their loved ones.


Recognizing that the departed one would have wanted you to continue with life, helps you to move on.


The pain of bereavement

can be overcome by calm

remembrance, reflection

and awareness of

feelings.