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There is quite a bit of wisdom in the observation that love and grief are two sides of the same coin. If you love someone, you will eventually grieve their loss (or they will grieve you), because no one lives forever. The flip side is that you cannot grieve if you do not love.
This knowledge does not lessen the intensity of a loss or grieving. In an article on the American Psychological Association’s website, Katherine C. Nordal, PhD. makes the point that “Coping with the loss of a close friend or family member may be one of the hardest challenges that many of us face. When we lose a spouse, sibling or parent our grief can be particularly intense. Loss is understood as a natural part of life, but we can still be overcome by shock and confusion, leading to prolonged periods of sadness or depression.”
Psychologists often say that people do not get over the loss of a loved one — they get through it. Getting through the loss is otherwise known as grieving. This process of healing through grieving is crucial for someone to move on with their life. “Mourning the loss of a close friend or relative takes time,” says Nordal, “but research tells us that it can also be the catalyst for a renewed sense of meaning that offers purpose and direction to life.”
There are many valuable tips for helping with the grieving process:
- Talk about the death of your loved one
- Accept your feelings
- Take care of yourself and your family
- Reach out and help others dealing with the loss
- Remember and celebrate the lives of your loved ones
For a more in-depth discussion of grieving, see the complete APA article here.