I wrote last week about dealing with the shock of losing someone you love and said that numbness is a normal initial response following a bereavement. The loss of a loved one is a traumatic event, and this is the body’s defense mechanism kicking in to ensure that the ill-effects are minimized before they become overwhelming. Gradually, various emotions will then begin to seep into consciousness over a period of time.

Grief and Loss

It is vital that we understand that the grieving process of mourning following the loss of a loved one is not the same for everyone. We have a natural tendency to assume that, to be real, grief must adhere to a certain pattern.

But looking for a set response from someone is a dangerous expectation.

My reactions to grief and loss may be quite different from yours. And your emotions from losing someone you love may be opposite to someone close to you. It is especially important to grasp this possibility in a situation where a husband’s and wife’s way of dealing with, say, the loss of a child may differ. If this is to the point that one, wrongly, believes the other to be unaffected, then instead of gaining support from one another, it may, actually, drive them apart.

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