Grief and Loss
When a loved one dies
It is very painful when a loved one dies. The world of the next of kin is turned upside down completely. There will be grief, confusion, and, perhaps, anger. These feelings won't disappear by themselves and strength, courage and lots of hard work are required to learn to cope with loss. Every individual has their own way of coping, and does this at their own rate.
When parents divorce
When parents divorce, it evokes lots of feelings and questions. Your world is falling apart. How will it be? What is going to happen with me? Apart from sorrow and anger you can feel insecure or scared. How do you cope with all these feelings?
A divorce is, same as when someone dies, a loss. It requires hard work to integrate all the changes caused by the divorce in your life.
For parents: Learn how divorce affects children, and how you can avoid hurting children by putting them in middle. For parents it is good to choose what they want: Fighting in presence of the child or offering a safe place for the child, listening to everything the child says without reacting emotionally (in presence of the child).
Expressing feelings and talking about loss
You might show your emotions very easily, maybe you find it very hard. It is possible that you don’t dare showing your feelings, and also that you just can’t. You can even be so upside down of what happened, that you can’t feel anything.
Some people cry without you can notice it. One boy once told me when other children were crying: “I am also crying, but only from the inside.”
Adults talk more readily about loss than children and adolescents do. Younger people just haven't got the vocabulary that adults have. Also, people of the same age who have been through the same experiences are not easily found. This can also count for adults.
Above all, talking about death or divorce and expressing feelings seems to be inconvenient in our society.
Fortunately there are other ways to express yourself. Many children and adolescents find ways to play, draw or write about it.
It is important for people to express what happened , helping them to cope with their loss. Many adults and children like someone to listen to their story. This makes them feel supported and understood.
When should you get help?
If you are mourning you can react differently than you are used to. You might be unreasonable or silent, you might feel like nothing or be irritated frequently. You can also be very sad or extremely happy. This is not weird considering what happened. These reactions are all expressions of your sorrow. It will automatically become less.
If these reactions will carry on for longer than a year, it might mean you get stuck in coping with your loss. At that time it might be good to look at it with a professional.