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Coping with Loss

In daily occurrences, people meet obstacles and huddles, disappointments and losses. For the faint hearted, such disappointments and losses may come with grave consequences. Even for the not-so faint hearted, a loss comes with great setbacks. A loss may negatively influence a person’s health and social life. Losses not only have far-reaching consequences on a person’s social life, but also the intrapersonal life (Lewis et al 15). Nevertheless, in the event of a loss, the most important part remains to be picking up the pieces and forging forward. Different people have varying ways of keeping their heads up after a loss. Some confront the situation and accept the occurrence. For such people, mental strength together with an array of other factors allows them to get out of the grief zone. Others remain in denial and avoid facing the true state of affairs (Balk 129). The need to cope with losses is an essential requirement that everybody needs to be armed with.


Tasks of Mourning

Dr. J. William Worden is a renowned clinical psychologist who specializes in bereavement. He postulated a number of tasks that could prove to be decisive in helping a bereaved person cope with loss. The first task is to accept the loss incurred. In this task, the bereaved has to acknowledge the setback posed by the loss for him or her to avoid the negative consequences. The second task is to process and deliberate on the grief and pain. Here, the bereaved is expected to take time to understand the consequences that come with the loss and to avert further feelings of pain. To find a way of living without the deceased is the third task. The fourth, finding a way of maintaining a long-lasting connection with the late, is a great stage in coping with the loss. It enables the bereaved keep close contact with the departed thereby keeping their memory alive (Worden 127).

Bereavement, Mourning and Grief

Bereavement is the state or condition of a loss or of being deprived of something that was a part of the subject’s life. On the other hand, mourning is expressing the loss incurred outwardly, for instance through weeping. Grief is the reaction that meets a loss, the response of a subject to a loss (Giddens, et al. 124).

Gender Differences surrounding Grief

Men and women have different ways of responding to a loss. The typical male is expected to be strong and therefore not show emotion. Mourning for instance, is considered a way of expression among women. For men, crying or reaching out for support during a period of grief is taken to be a weakness of some sorts (Luciano117).

Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy

Grief counseling is a psychological intercession aimed at helping a bereaved person (or a person who has incurred a major loss) cope with and make it through the loss. For some people, the grieving process may prove to be a handful and they may not be able to recover completely after the loss. Grief therapy, therefore, aims at using clinical tools and procedures to help such people get back to their normal lives. In this light, grief therapy differs from grief counseling in that grief therapy comes in when the subject proves to be unable to make it out of the grieving process emotionally and psychologically intact (Worden 56).

Factors that might result in complicated Mourning

Factors that may result in a complicated mourning include the relationship between the deceased and the bereaved, the circumstances in which the loss occurred and the bereaved having had earlier experiences of loss (Degen 59). Others include the personality of the bereaved and other social factors (for instance poverty).

Symptoms of Grief

Emotional symptoms of grief include feelings of sadness, anger and even a yearning for the deceased. Physically, grief can be exhibited by mourning, refusal to eat or take part in other activities and even lack of sleep. The bereaved may change his or her behavior and may remain in seclusion, refuse to talk and behave in other uncommon ways, like being violent. Mentally, the bereaved may become withdrawn, sometimes even talking to him/herself (Bryant 882).

Disenfranchised Grief

Disenfranchise grief is a situation where a person incurs a loss which may be significant to him or her, but in the eyes of others may seem trivial. Such losses are characterized with little sharing and support. Loss of a pet can be considered a disenfranchised grief.

How the Mode of Death Influences Grief

An anticipated death (may be due to a chronic illness) can be handled fairly better that a sudden death, research suggests. The anticipated death emotionally and psychologically prepares the bereaved for the eventuality. On the other hand, a sudden death meets the bereaved unprepared and he or she may have a complicated mourning (Lewis 78).

The Duration of Grief

The duration of grief varies from one person to another and according to the loss. There is no set time within which a person should grieve and recover fully thereafter. However, the normal grieving does not go for more than a few months (Balk 387).

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