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How to grieve the loss of a loved one?

They don’t teach us how to grieve the loss of a loved one in schools and colleges, do they? Like Gaiman said, they don’t teach anything worth knowing. This is not medical advice. It is only an attempt to speak from a human heart to a human heart.

“I’ve been making a list of the things they don’t teach you at school. They don’t teach you how to love somebody. They don’t teach you how to be famous. They don’t teach you how to be rich or how to be poor. They don’t teach you how to walk away from someone you don’t love any longer. They don’t teach you how to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind. They don’t teach you what to say to someone who’s dying. They don’t teach you anything worth knowing.”- Neil Gaiman

Can we cope with grief in a healthy way?

How to grieve the loss of someone you loved
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This is going to be an extremely difficult subject to write about, but I think it’s important for me to try and attempt it from a human perspective, so I am going to give it a shot. I have seen a bit of life at the time of writing this, including a few people die. This is not medical advice. It’s an attempt to heal, from a human to a human.

At this point, there are a lot of people losing their life in India. Every day, I hear of a few people dying around me because of COVID-19 and it’s mind-numbing. I wonder how are people who are losing their loved ones dealing with so much pain. I am myself recovering from COVID-19 at the time of writing this, but I am stable, thankfully. This is not about me.

When we lose a loved one, we go through multiple stages of grief.


The first stage of grief is shock, especially when the loss is expected. At this point, there have been several deaths like those. People in their 20’s and 30’s have recently lost their lives, and I can’t even begin to image the shock their loved ones or their families must be going through.

Nobody expects a young or a healthy person to die, but life is brutal.

When this happens, we start looking for reasons why this happened to the dead, and there are no answers to be had. Nobody will appear and answer ‘why them?’, or ‘why me?’

There are no answers.

Destiny has reasons reason doesn’t understand.

Drink in the shock. It is normal to feel shocked and incredulous. In some cases, when the person who dies has been sick for a while, the shock may be a little less than when death comes as an absolute shock. Having said that, the demise of a loved one is always a shock. We don’t want these things to happen, even if we know one day, we are all going to die.

Denial and disbelief

Once the shock has set in, we tend to get into denial and disbelief. Especially in the COVID scenario, so many people have died unexpectedly that their families haven’t even had the time to process the loss.

The state of disbelief is an extremely difficult one because psychologically to feel okay, it is important for us to be able to accept what we have just experienced.

There are people who don’t cry for days after their lose their loved ones and doctors advise their families to make them cry.

Tears are signs of the most important stage of grieving.

Acceptance of the loss

Eventually, after we have gone through the shock, the denial and the disbelief, acceptance sets in. It happens with time once the people who came to share the grief have left to live their lives, and there is silence.

In the silence, you realize the gravity of what you have just gone through, and you cry, when nobody is watching. You cry, and somewhere when those tears pass through your eyes and trickle down your face, they make you accept what life has just done to you, and that you must move on. That life is a continuous circle, that you have responsibilities, and that you can’t stop, and that you can’t die with the dead.

The process of grieving

We go through shock, followed by denial or disbelief, and acceptance. Eventually, it has to lead to acceptance, for the process to end.

This is the process of grieving, put as it happens. Even when we accept, the loss stays forever etched in our memories because we had shared our lives with those now gone, and those moments can never die.

All my life, I have thought about death and I have tried to live a life, at least in the last few years so as to ensure that I do not have regrets about the kind of life I have led, just in case I drop dead. How do you want to be remembered?

After all, after we die, we would leave people with nothing but memories. After people we love, have loved are gone, they are reduced to moments that mattered.

While we think about how to grieve, it may be helpful to think about how to live and the kind of memories we would want to be, after we are gone.

I think I have written about my aunt somewhere on this blog, the one who died of cancer. She knew a few months before she died that she would be dying anytime, since the doctors had said they couldn’t save her.

What do you say to the dying?

What do you say to the dying?
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I don’t know, don’t know. When I met her a couple of months before she died, and asking her how she had become the terminal patient she did, and she said nothing.

There is nothing we can say to the dying. We can only be by their side and say that we love them, if we do, and share their pain. It would be quite painful to be by people we don’t love, because we won’t be able to say anything meaningful.

How to cope with grief and loss

Coming back to the subject of the post, I still don’t know if I have answered appropriately how to grieve. There is no clear answer to the question. All of us grieve differently, depending on how much we loved the person who is now gone.

How to help someone who is grieving?

Perhaps this is an important question to try and address. Since the person who has passed away is gone, the people you can still care about are the ones who are grieving.

Spend time with them

If you can, spend time physically with them. Tell them you are there if they need anything and mean it. It gets lonely when people lose someone who mattered a lot to them, and hence they need company. If you can’t be with them, physically, call. Send a message- do anything that makes them feel that the world suddenly is not a lonely place.

Make them happy

It is important to give them time to grieve, but after some time has passed by, do something that would allow them to come back to normal life. The loss of a loved one is a traumatic experience for anyone, and sometimes, it does feel that life would stop. It’s important to know that life can be normal again, although it’s never quite normal. However, we can lessen the pain by trying to help them do normal things.

Check on them whenever you think it’s important

Check on them whenever you think is important depending on how they are coping with the loss. It’s not easy to learn how to grieve and now of us really know it well. There is no rule book. If you care, check on them that they are coping, and are trying to come back to life.

That’s it. I think that’s about it. I don’t know what else to say here. All of us are one day, going to die, and if we live a good life, where care for people, someone would grieve for us.

One day somebody would be grieving for us

Let us, as human beings, try to live a life that when people think about us, after we are gone, it is easy for them to grieve. I recently read someone post about the death of his grandmother on Facebook.

He said that he only has good memories of her. He was there for her and they had happy moments and she loved him and she loved her entire family while she lived.

What a beautiful way to think about a life now gone.

Another friend wrote about his father, who passed away recently, and said that his father was always by his side, and he would always feel proud of him.

If you are grieving right now, I am sending you love and hugs. I can’t cure your pain, but I want you to know that you are not alone.

Thank you for reading.

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I appreciate the time you spent in reading the blog and wish you happiness.



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