If a relationship ends or if a family member passes away, we need to give ourselves some time to heal the wounds. For this reason, managing bereavement well is essential. Grief is an emotional adjustment process that occurs after a loss. It is to face the fact that we will never see that person again and to accept that this requires a proper process.
Knowing how to manage it properly will allow us to overcome it successfully, otherwise we will stop. Today we will find out how to manage bereavement well so that the second situation does not occur.
The stages of mourning
To manage bereavement well, we must take into account the phases that, like it or not, we must overcome. We cannot skip any or stay in one for fear of the next. If we want to overcome the situation that we have to live, we must open and conclude each phase until the end.
- Denial: We refuse to accept the death of a loved one or the breakup with a partner. In this way, we avoid facing the painful reality.
- Anger: reality ends up weighing more and whips us with all its violence making us angry for the situation and inducing us to look for the guilty who take charge of it.
- Hope: despite everything, we have a little hope of seeing the person again (in heaven) or of reuniting broken ties (giving a second chance to the couple’s relationship).
- The sadness: however, reality knocks on our door again. We realize that there are no more hopes, which makes us sink into sadness.
- Acceptance: After crying and discharging all our sadness, we embrace reality and accept what has happened allowing us to move forward.
Each phase has its own meaning, as we have seen. However, if we grab onto one of them and prevent the next one from flowing naturally, we will most likely face further problems.
Fear and insecurity are our worst enemies
Fear and insecurity are the two emotions that can sabotage grief. The desire to control the situation and not lose what has been built up to that moment can make us stay too long in the phase of anger, for example.
Looking for the culprits or seeing only the negative side of the situation can make us feel victims of circumstances and prevent us from moving forward and overcoming what has happened. Likewise, feeding hope for no reason for fear of being alone can lead us to not live and to stagnate in an infinite wait.
We must also be extremely attentive to sadness, that stage in which we must give ourselves permission to cry and express our feelings. If we don’t, depression could ring our door.
To manage bereavement well, you need to manage emotions
Nobody taught us to manage our emotions. For this reason, we do not express what we feel, “exploding” at the least opportune moment. We don’t cry when we need it until we sink into depression.
We need to start listening to our emotions, especially during a bereavement. But above all, we need to know ourselves. Grieving is a painful process, but well conducted it can be true self-discovery.
Knowing how to question our fears, face our insecurities, and be aware of our attempts to dodge pain can be extremely rewarding. This way, we will know when it is time to move on to the next stage of grief without fearing it.
Sooner or later the next stage will come, but it will be up to us to decide whether to stay a lot or a little in the previous one. We can be sad for a few months or sink into a depression that will last for years because we have been unable to handle bereavement well and, with it, our emotions and well-being.
Open your eyes, be self-critical and ask yourself numerous questions. Seek the help of a professional who can guide you through this process. It will certainly be of great support.
Images: Ines Rehberger