Monday, November 28, 2016

The loss of a loved one

By Paola Scaduto
edited fairy photo.jpg
Image by Kely Luzio-Cardona

Many have gone through a phase where the world seems upside down, the pain making it impossible to function in daily life.  Losing someone you love; whether a parent, grandparent, friend, family member, or other half, is a tragedy.

Whether a sudden death, or whether you have had time to prepare yourself; the pain hurts. Sometimes dealing with loss and grief can result in feeling guilt, or a state of depression.   

In their article, “Coping with Loss: Bereavement and Grief,” Mental Health America writes,The death of a loved one is always difficult. Your reactions are influenced by the circumstances of a death, particularly when it is sudden or accidental. Your reactions are also influenced by your relationship with the person who died.”

Swiss-American Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler describes the 5 stages of Grief which depict a series of emotions one may feel and go through  after the loss of a loved one.

1) Denial: “This can’t be happening to me.”
2) Anger: “Why is this happening? Who is to blame?”
3) Bargaining: “Make this not happen, and in return I will ____.”
4) Depression: “I’m too sad to do anything.”
5) Acceptance: “I’m at peace with what happened.”
“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.” Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross

Pain is not something you get over, through time you learn to cope with the pain. Sometimes in the saddest, or tragic situations, lessons and a beautiful outcome occurs. It will always hurt, but life goes on no matter what you may be going through. You learn a lot about yourself, and those around you in times of sadness and frustration.

Remember: It takes time to fully absorb the impact of a major loss. You never stop missing your loved one, but the pain eases after time and allows you to go on with your life You cannot avoid grieving forever. Someday those feelings will need to be resolved or they may cause physical or emotional illness.”--Mental Health America

Everyone grieves differently. Melinda Smith and Dr. Jeanne Segal write for Help Guide International, that healing from grief happens gradually over time--whether months or years.

“Whatever your grief experience, it’s important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold,” they write.

I went through an experience that changed my life forever, feeling that I would never be able to go on without faking a smile. I hope that through sharing my thoughts, emotions, experiences and lessons I can help you cope with a loss of a loved one as well.

In the month of June 2015 I found my Grandmother unconscious, due to a stroke. The day of her stroke we were told she would not make it, and after 4 long crazy months, God took her beautiful soul.  I lived with her ever since I was a little girl, and anytime something would occur to her, I would always be the one to find her. What If I went down stairs a little beforehand and had been able to save her? That is a thought that goes through my mind every second of every single day.  We never left her alone in the hospital. When I would sleep with her, I would never let go of her hand. I prayed and begged to God that she would wake up and remember who I was. I promised to never fight with her anymore, and to do everything she asked.  I thought about how many things I have taken for granted with her, and how many little things I wished I could have said, and UN-say.

Those months left us scared, each in our own way. My grandma created a beautiful big Italian family, and taught us all the meaning of love, family, bond, and strength. She was our queen. Her loss hit every single one of us.  Everyone was fragile, and I learned that everyone deals with loss in his/her own way.  I went through a state where I did not go out, nor want to speak to anyone. I did not want to do anything anymore.  In the craziness of it all, I tried to find some good in what happened.

Three family members became pregnant, resulting in two handsome boys and one beautiful girl. Although there were many who were not there for me, I learned who my true friends were.
I learned to appreciate time, moments and life. Nothing lasts forever; therefore I try to cherish and appreciate every single moment, and try my best to avoid arguments.

What I experienced made me realize that I took many things for granted without even realizing. If you love someone, make sure you tell them, and remind them how much they mean to you, because you never know when the last conversation with them may be. Even if I felt hurt and upset, missing work or sleeping all day would not bring them back. It was so hard to cope with life, and dealing with such pain, but time continued, and life did not stop. I had to learn to control my emotions and not let it affect my daily life, because I know she would be disappointed.

Now she will be with every single one of us, protecting us.  We may not see her, but she is watching us, and living every moment with us. During times of sadness and happiness, I pray to her. I talk to her anytime that I need to, because I know that she will guide and protect me. I gained a Guardian Angel for life. Our memories, and precious moments will never be forgotten.

As of now, October 2016, I have gone through the loss of two grandmothers. On October 23, 2015, 8 days before my 21st birthday: I lost my grandmother Maria. A day I waited forever for (turning 21), and a day I dreaded my whole life  (losing my grandmother) hit me both in the same week. As of October 9, 2016 I have lost my other grandmother. I have lost both of my grandmothers in the same month, near my birthday, which will make it difficult during that time, but I know that I now have two beautiful angels.  

Click here for some advice for healing through the loss of a loved one.



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