Bereavement and Loss – In the wake of yet another premeditated violent massacre against a large group of innocent people, some may be experiencing troubling emotions of loss and pain. Such a shocking event reaches and effects many people differently. This article will cover symptoms to look for that may indicate that loved ones may be having trouble processing the tragedy. What happens when the media storm dies down and the pain still exists, making it hard for the victims and families who are left behind to deal with such overwhelming emotions?
Bereavement has four basic phases which typically occur:
- Numbness and shock- Usually occurs in the beginning and lasts a brief period. It is useful in helping people function during the funeral time period.
- Feelings of separation- When the feeling of loss or missing the loved one starts to occur.
- Disorganization- Time period when the bereaved is easily distracted and might have difficultly concentrating or may feel restless.
- Reorganization- Toward the end of the bereavement period when the person has begun to adjust to life without the loved one.
Some things that may help you through the process are: Keeping a journal about your feelings and emotions. Reading books on loss. Start some activities that are relaxing. Talk about the person who died. As well as support groups, they can be a very valuable tool in helping your recovery.
When should you seek help?
- If grief is lasting over a year.
- If there is a major change in weight (either loss or gain)
- If suicidal thoughts are occurring.
- If there are continual difficulties with sleeping.
- If there is prolonged emotional distress.
A.C.T. will provide free resource information for individuals and families to help promote education. For more information, please contact Dr. Drecun at Dr.Drecun@a4ct.com or (858) 792-3541. You may also visit us online at www.a4ct.com.
(American Association for Marriage Therapy, 2002-2011)