Elderhood Project: Dealing with grief

Elderhood Project: dealing with grief

You may have heard that there are different stages we go through when we lose a loved one.

That could be true – but no two people are alike when it comes to grieving.

It could be a mother, father, husband or wife. It could be any loved one and when they pass away, we grieve.

“Sometimes in the beginning, it’s like denial, not really accepting their loved one is gone. That can be an initial feeling, gives way to angry feelings, agitated feelings, sometimes blaming,” says Castle psychiatrist Dr. Denis Mee-Lee.

Whatever those feelings might be, Dr. Mee-Lee says it’s best to express them.

“Often how people deal with it – of we think we just got to try to forget about it and not really express the feelings or deal with them. Usually, if we can let the feelings out, talk about them, share them with loved ones or even a therapist or counselor, we can make the period shorter,” he says.

The loss of a loved one can sometimes tear families apart.

“So sometimes families get into these battles because – ‘Why is he so angry’ – if they can be supportive and help them talk it out, express and release it, it will often work through quicker,” Dr. Mee-Lee says.

The person who is grieving runs the risk of developing physical ailments unless they express that grief.

“The more we don’t express the feelings it gets converted to physical symptoms. Often folks will have headaches, or gastrointestinal upset, pains, sometimes generalized pains and things. Just more indicative of the feelings that are unresolved within that person,” Dr. Mee-Lee says.

The best advice for dealing with grief is fairly simple.

“The more we can release it, express it, share it, get support for it, the shorter it will be, the less painful it will be,” Dr. Mee-Lee says.

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