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Grieving When You Lose Someone Close To You

Healthy Tips to Help Deal With Grief, Loss, Death, Bereavement and All Those Words That Describe That Terrible Feeling of Going On Without the Special Person You Lost. A self help to grief counseling.

grief is a process


Depression is one of Many Natural Feelings

There is a saying that in this world, no one gets out alive.  

True as these words are, it doesn’t prepare us for the myriad of feelings, grief depression, and anxiety,  we  go through as we face the days, weeks, months, and years ahead without those we loved and lost. Everyone’s loss is personal and individual, and each person grieves in their own way.  Some people grieve openly, some in private.  Some want people around them, some want seclusion.  Some people will occupy themselves with work and busy things to do, so they don’t have to feel.  Some people become idle and don’t know what to do with themselves, they can’t concentrate and they feel lost. Some people will drink or abuse substances to numb the pain.  Some will overeat, and some lose their appetite altogether. Some of us don’t sleep well, and some sleep more and longer as way to get away from the pain of loss.  We all grieve differently, yet we can understand another’s pain, and we want to reach out to help them in this time of need. For those that are grieving the feelings can be overwhelming. There are different degrees of coping with the feelings, especially depression, and sadness that people feel.

The five stages of grief

In what ever way a person mourns, give them space and respect their needs. For those of us who are dealing with the death of a beloved person or pet  they cared about, there is no one way to grieve.  Many of us  find ourselves with a heavy heart.  With breaths that are shallow, and sighs that are deep, we try to create meaning out of the loss. With a knot in our throat, and our eyes watering up, we choke back tears for fear, the tears will never stop.  Everything feels like an effort.  And even when we start to resume our life, little reminders pop up unexpectedly, bringing up the pain again. We try to get back to the everyday dealings of life, but a part of us doesn’t know how we will do this. Days are difficult, nights may be long, and each day is sometimes greeted by the dreaded reality of what has happened. Our lives are forever changed. There is a big gaping hole that can’t ever be filled, one that hurts deeply, as we are forced to deal with this adjustment with each passing day.  Coping with grief and depression is only one aspect of dealing with the feelings of loss.

You may feel like you are watching  the rest of the world going about their business, they can easily laugh, and effortlessly do the things they have always done, like you used to do. Only now you are grieving and they are not.  As much as people comfort you, no one can truly understand what you feel … and so you feel alone. Death makes us question our own mortality.  Death makes us question life, and God and our purpose in this world.  Death gives us no answers, it only leaves us with bigger questions. It is a natural part of life, that we must endure.   There is no magic pill to get over the feelings.  But there are healthy things you can do with these feelings of grief that will help you get beyond the pain and the loss.  Grief is a process.   There are stages to grief.  Kubler-Ross wrote extensively about the 5 stages of grief. It is a good idea to understand these stages, because it helps you understand that the emotions, you are feeling, are feelings of grief  everyone goes through.  But perhaps the most important thing about the 5 stages of grieving is that, you must go through all 5 stages in order to heal properly.  The stages of grief are not a step by step instruction booklet.  You can weave in and out of the stages depending on what is going on within you and around you in your life.

the 5 stages of grief

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Grief Counseling can be helpful

You can read more about the Kubler-Ross model at

  1. Denial –  disbelief that it happened
  2. Anger – Why did this happen, as denial begins to go away
  3. Bargaining –  If only feelings, as reality starts to set in
  4. Depression –  feelings of loss and perhaps hopelessness as we face the future  forever without them
  5. Acceptance – Coming to terms with what has happened, with an inner peace.

Ther are 2 kinds of depression connected  with grief and loss.  One is the feelings related to the loss such as overall sadness, regret, and mixed feelings of dealing with real life issues from the loss.    The second kind of depression is the private feelings we deal with in prepartion to accept the reality that who we loved is gone forever.  We protect ourselves before we are ready to say our final farewells, long long after the event and the funeral has occurred.    

Not everyone reaches the stage of acceptance.  It is that inner peace factor that makes this stage the gift it is.  There is a sense of calm within.  You may still feel unhappy, and sad, but you are not depressed. You can move forward now, and you know things overall will be okay. You will always remember that person, and it will always hurt that they are not here with you.  But you can also cherish who that person or pet was and thoughts of them are not always painful now.

When you are grieving it is important to reach out to people, to let them help you, to allow yourself to cry and mourn for however long you need. It is also good to seek grief counseling if you feel you need more support. Grieving is a personal process. Don’t rush the grief.  Pain is good, it lets you know you feel.  And to feel, and miss, and mourn means you loved.  And love is a gift that lasts forever. So let yourself grieve for a while and relieve the pain of your loss.  Then you will have plenty of room for gift of love to be able to  reside within you forever, unopposed.

You Can Help Me Heal Too

On October 23, 2010, I lost my mother. She had lived a long life, yet her death happened so suddenly. She wasn’t sick, she lived by herself independently, walked, cooked, and took care of herself. .Although she was 90 years old, she had the mind of a 30 year old, and so she was a lot of fun to be around, because her mind was so sharp. I saw my mother everyday, and she was in my own home when it happened unexpectedly. She slipped away before my eyes. We had just had a conversation, I returned six minutes later to give her lunch, and she was unconscious. Although I am lucky that she lived so long, I have never known my life without my mother, and so my kids and I struggle to re-adjust to life without her. My 3 other siblings don’t share my grief. They immediately started counting her meager assets. I am the youngest, I was my mother’s caretaker, and I shared something different with my mother than they did, and so my loss is my own. To comfort me a little, I have included the eulogy I wrote for her funeral. Why does this comfort me, if readers who don’t know me, and never knew my mother read my thoughts? Because it is cathartic to share my feelings, and it helps me feel like my mother won’t be forgotten, which is important to me. So by reading this, you are helping me get through the stages of grief, the way I need to. I am okay with the pain I feel right now. Crying feels good. Time is a great healer. Thank you for helping me heal.

My Mother Marion
She was a petite woman with a feisty spirit. She loved to be around people. My mother had a good sense of humor and a determination that was an inspiration to everyone who knew her. She loved to sew and was very talented and creative in her hobby – it really was her passion. She could sew everything well.
She was born in Scranton , PA, the 6th of 11 children. Marion wanted more for herself than Scranton could offer and when she was 19, she moved to New York, where she shared an apartment with her older brother and older sister until she met and married my father.
My mother became a loyal New Yorker, and a very avid Yankees fan. She knew all the players, and watched the games, and would call me with the scores. She turned me from a Mets fan to a Yankees fan because she loved the game so much. She was in all her glory to see them win the World Series last year. And this Friday, she told me she had a feeling they would lose the championship that night. I asked her once, why she got into baseball, not football. She looked at me and said, when she was a kid they would all sit around the radio and listen to the Yankee baseball games. Football, she told me, didn’t really exist yet. It gives you perspective on things when you get to talk to someone who lived as long as my mother did. And she used to say, if you live long enough, you see everything.

My mother loved to have fun. She considered herself a big kid. Proof of this, is laughingly remembered by people who saw my mother at 81 years old suspended on a Velcro wall like all the kids, when it was my daughters’ birthday party. She was proud of herself, being able to think on her feet, that she had a sense of humor, and that she knew what was going on, and was clear headed. She had a fantastic memory, was quick at calculations and loved to tell stories of her growing up in Scranton. She always looked to make someone chuckle. I can picture her smiling the other day as she made witty remarks to her aides, and her physical therapist.
My mother lived by a couple of sayings she often quoted. One that she would say was, “Man plans and God laughs”. So she learned to adjust to things that happen in life. She used to also say, “where there is life, there is hope”. And she clung to life as best she could, despite the hardships of being a widow at 55, several bouts of lymphoma, a heart valve replacement and a partial hip replacement. But the best saying she lived by was what she said as soon as she opened her eyes after her heart valve replacement surgery. She said “it’s great to be alive!” And asked that we write it was great to be alive on her stone.
My mother lived to be 90 years old, not an easy feat. She was the longest living of her siblings, so far. She would tell me with amazement and modesty that God granted her a long life. The most important thing to my mother was her independence. She always told me how much this meant to her. That is why she loved her own home. She went the way she told me she wanted to go. She wanted to die quickly, without suffering, with all her senses, and in her house, except she was in my home, surrounded by me, my family, and my pets. In fact she shared her bread crusts with my dogs, that morning. I spoke to her, only a few minutes before it happened, and I know she felt loved.
Ma, you never liked us to say goodbye. You would tell us to say so long. You liked it better. So I won’t say goodbye, I’ll say so long. I already miss you. I would have liked one more chance to share a laugh, hear a story, and to tell you I love you. Ma, thank you for living a long life and letting me get to know the very special person you are. I love you. You told me not to cry when you die, ….. but I will.


Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on July 25, 2015:

Great hub. I know there's 7 stages of grief, when you've listed five. Last year, I've been through a third of the stages and started to heal by her one-year anniversary this past spring. Very useful and healing prayers sent to you! Voted up!

Moral Man on March 16, 2015:

Ive been crying for a month now since my beloved mother died of a stroke. When I look back at her kindheartedness, her love, her caring, it makes the loss more painful and more gut wrenching. Why do good people often suffer and die, and why do good, innocent animals suffer and die? The friendship, companionship, love, motherhood, and support she gave me is gone, snatched away. Theres a horrible sunken feeling in my heart. I wish I could sleep and not wake up as every waking hour is miserable. The sadness I feel is beyond description. Where are quality mental hospitals in America? I will need a mental hospital sooner or later. Nature is cruel beyond imagining, and so are human beings. The Devil and evil rules the world.

Moral Man on March 07, 2015:

I lost both my parents. My father had a long history of health problems. He had a bout of dengue fever from a mosquito bite, kidney stone, heart attacks and anginas, toothache, hernia, a stroke, and he died of heart failure at age 79 in August 2011.

My mother suffered from migraine headache since 1986 or 1987 to her death in February 2015. Thats 28 or 29 years of immense suffering. She had a near fatal stroke 6 years ago and a second stroke in February 2015 which killed her. Both these strokes were agonizingly painful. Her last words were theres a severe pain on the right side of my head. My mother was a kind hearted woman who loved me and was my support. Why did God allow her to suffer and die in such a cruel, horrible manner? Im heartbroken and angry. The void in the house is painful. My life is ruined. The two most important people in the world who I love the most have been taken away from me.

Im angry at God and angry at the creator. Whoever created disease is a criminal, monster, fiend, insane lunatic, idiot. Mentally blind, morally blind, immoral, amoral, ruthless, and unimaginably cruel is Nature. Who created evil, suffering, sin, and death? Is it God? Is the Devil, or is it Satan and demons? Or is it just science, evolution, natural selection, and the blind, impersonal, amoral forces of Nature which are to blame? Are evil aliens such as the Anunnaki to blame? It depends who you ask. Theres Moral evil such as human sin, cruelty, depravity, and theres Natural evil such as stroke, aneurysm, heart disease, cancer, malaria, ebola, centipedes, stonefish, tapeworms, hurricanes, tsunamis, and theres Supernatural evil such as evil gods, devils, demons, Satan, evil fairies, etc. I dont know which category aliens belong to as they seem to bridge the gap between Moral evil, Natural evil, and Supernatural evil, and most aliens are evil as I have learned.

Im a mentally ill, mentally disabled man with depression, OCD,and loneliness. The loss of my parents is painful beyond description. The grief, sadness, and anger I feel is pretty much beyond description. My life is mental torment day in, day out, year in year out. I love my mother more than anyone else. Why did God allow a cruel horrible disease to kill her and snatch her away from me? I fear that I may never see my beloved parents again. No one really knows what happens after death. There are many different conflicting beliefs about the afterlife among different religions and different philosophies. My beloved family and my beloved pets are the most important things in the world to me which I love more than anything else, and I have to have them in the afterlife. Our pets may not have an afterlife or the afterlife for pets may be on a different plane or a different location than for us humans. I cannot accept that my beloved pets are separated from me. I want my pets to be together with me in the same place in the afterlife.

Christianity and Islam is big on the belief in hell. Theres a difference between just punishment for sin and monstrous, sadistic, inhuman cruelty, torture, and horror, and the Fundamentalist Christian and Moslem God doesn't know the difference. According to Christian Fundies such as Mary Baxter, Bill Wiese, David J. Stewart, and Terry Watkins, the tortured in hell will include fire, worms, suffocation or inability to breatbe, a sewer like stench, giant spiders and giant snakes, being mutilated and sliced by demons, and being buried alive inside a claustrophobic, coffin like environment. I suffer from claustrophobia, taphophobia, or fear of premature burial. Imagine being locked inside a closed coffin forever. This is criminal cruelty and sadism infinitely vastly worse than any horror movie. Its beyond sick. Its beyond monstrous. Its beyond horrific. I cannot imagine a God being any more evil than this. This is cruelty beyond my worst nightmare. This is monumental, unimaginable, immeasurable cruelty. Im going to end up in a mental hospital from fear.

My life is mental torment. The world is a hellhole and horror movie ruled by the Devil and not by a loving God.

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toknowinfo (author) on April 21, 2012:

Hi Billy, Thanks for reading my hub. I am sorry about your loss too, and for what you had to go through.It must have been more than difficult for you. I lost my father suddenly, when I was 14. Life knocks us around and gives us scars. We can only try to help each other in whatever way we can. I wish you an easy time so that you can laugh much, love more, and enjoy what you do have. Peace be with you and may your memories be treasures always.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 21, 2012:

I am sorry for the loss of your mother my dear! I am no stranger to sudden death; my dad died in my arms when I was twenty from a heart attack so I understand the pain, shock and grieving process. I wish you peace and happiness and thank you for writing this hub; if it helps someone then you have helped them and helped yourself.

Lisa Moorman on October 06, 2011:

I'm quite sure your mother was so very proud of you as her daughter. I recently lost my son who was 28. Life just doesn't seem the same but yet I find a way to survive. I know that your mother is up there looking down on you smiling and she walks beside you daily so keep smiling although you dont see her in the physical she's definitely there in the spiritual.

toknowinfo (author) on March 12, 2011:

Hi Trish, Thank you for reading my hub about my Mom. Your words bring me comfort, and I appreciate your kind comments.It is still hard for me some days, but I feel lucky that she lived as long as she did. I am the youngest of my family, and my mother was much older when I was born so I feel lucky that my kids and I got to know her as well as we did. Her years were a gift for me and my kids, and I so appreciate that we got to share so much with her. Our Moms were amazing and I am glad we can share a mutual feeling. I am glad you stopped by.

trish1048 on March 12, 2011:

As you shared this hub in a comment you left on mine, I had to come read. Your mom reminds me of mine, as well as my best friend's mom, who is still going strong and is also very independent.

Your beautiful tribute moved me to tears, not of sadness, but tears for the world's loss. Our moms were amazing women, and we were fortunate to have had such wonderful role models.

toknowinfo (author) on March 06, 2011:

Thanks for your kind comments about my dealing with the loss of my mother. Everyone's comforting words helps me greatly.

rontlog from England on March 06, 2011:

Thank you for leaving a comment on my hub.

I enjoyed reading your eulogy to your Mum, it is beautiful.

I will definitely have a read of your other hubs, they look really interesting.

Kathi Mirto from Fennville on January 19, 2011:

A beautiful tribute to your mother and she died the way she wanted to and with the person she wanted there. She did it her way. My husband did the same thing a year ago. He died outside in the yard of our home with me and his sons holding his hands! God Bless You

leabeth on January 19, 2011:

What a wonderful woman and I salute her. To get to that age and still be full of laughter and having all her senses. Embrace the lovely memories you and your family have of her.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 30, 2010:

Like you, I lost my dear mother this year but back in January. We had all lived together and shared a house the last few years. I miss the daily visits, the "good-night honey" that was her nightly farewell 'til morning and all the things we shared together. She was also a widow when she was in her 50's. She had endured the loss of her husband and both of her boys (my father and siblings) before she died at age 84. I am still grieving as I know you are and my heart grieves for you as well. Blessings and a hug! Thanks for sharing this wonderful hub about your dear mother.

nonosm2010 on December 26, 2010:

I'm so sorry for your loss,I can only imagine how heart broken you must be..all i can say to you that you are gonna get better with time,and one day,there won't be left but only good happy memories to keep you warm ..

toknowinfo (author) on December 21, 2010:

HubPages has given me much comfort from writing and from reading your kind responses. Each of you remind us all to keep things in perspective. I am sorry to read about the losses you too have endured, and I hope we all know more blessings than sorrows in the future. Thank you all for your emotional support. I hope each of you also find some solace from our shared communication.

xixi12 from Everywhere but here. In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved. You can never be truly free till you have the discipline to manage it. on December 21, 2010:

Sorry to hear of your loss. I believe your mom is in a much better place.

I lost my baby once, due to a mistake from the hospital, it was devastating, i hated everyone, and I blamed everyone for my misfortune. Everyone seemed to go ahead with their lives while i grieved.

I was in denial, i just wanted to wake up from my terrible dream. But days entered months and then years. 3 years down the line, I can tell you that time really does heal, even though i have not overcome it completely, I was happy to know him for even that short period. I pray your good memories of your mom will help overcome the grief you feel right now. God bless

lcg4jc on December 12, 2010:

Dearest I am so very sorry for your grief and your pain. While I have been blessed to still have my mama and I can't fathom the pain of your loss; I am beside myself knowing that you have had to endure such a loss. May God bless you and your children, may your home be filled with love and unity always. May you find peace.

b. Malin on December 11, 2010:

Loved what you wrote about your mother, we never outgrow the need to talk to them. Your Mom died nicely...not in a hospital hooked up to god knows what. My Mom also put her head back, said she was resting for a while and that was it...she was only 75.

My niece (an artist) took her own life at 45...I can't tell you what our family went through...that was four years ago. Thank you for sharing this Hub...and thanks for becoming a follower of mine...I will be following you also.

skye2day from Rocky Mountains on December 11, 2010:

Fantastic Hub I am bookmarking. This is such important information to know. Grieving is a process. Although our loved ones are on the other side in His hands and suffering no longer it is a difficult hardship to endure. Knowing one day we will see them in the kingdom on earth is awesome. Daniel and Revelation

May God Bless you with the loss of your momma. Keep on sister. Up and awesome

Linda Rawlinson from Lancaster, UK on December 09, 2010:

I'm so sorry for your loss. It doesn't make a difference that your mum was 90 when she died, if you were so close to her it must hurt so much. This is such a beautiful hub, and so helpful. Thank you for writing it, and sharing so openly.


toknowinfo (author) on December 08, 2010:

Thank you to all of you for your comforting words. You are helping me more than you know. I am grateful that each of you have taken the time to read my hub and comment to me.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on December 08, 2010:

My smpathies. i have beem through it for my father, mother and oldest brother. It is never really easy but we adjust to tit.

fucsia on December 08, 2010:

The five steps that you named are part of the healing process. But it can happen that someone remains also for a long time in one of them, such as anger or depression: one of the most important things in my opinion is to share the pain, let it flow, also through writing, as you did.

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on December 08, 2010:

You have my deepest sympathy my friend toknowinfo, i know what you are feeling i lost my mom two years ago and i to was her caregiver. I know it is hard now,but in time it will be easier. I pray that the pain in your heart will be healed soon.

Jackie Paulson from USA IL on December 07, 2010:

I am sorry for your loss but know that she is in a peaceful place. She died knowing you would be there. What a beautiful woman who is now your guardian angel. I share your grief. If you need to talk just let me know. My real mother died when I was 5.

Scarlett My Dear from Missouri on December 07, 2010:

You have my deepest sympathy, toknowinfo. Through your words, I can see your mother, Marion. A beautiful woman and mother! A beloved mother and friend.

I know you don't know me, or I, you ~ but, I feel your pain, as I and my family are grieving for loved ones lost this year, as well. I'm sending you a warm hug and a very big thank you for your article.

These steps through the grieving process are so good to know. They, in my mind, help one acknowledge that they, indeed, are not alone in their sadness ~ a most important part of the process. And, in our darkest of moments, can give us some peace in knowing that we will be okay in time.

Love and peace ~Scarlett

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