Often those who live in mourning are wondering whether it is “normal” to be bad for a long time. Sometimes the death of a loved one is devastating, and finding love for life seems an impossible task. Perhaps, however, we have to stop thinking anxiously how much time has passed to reflect on the ways of our mourning. You also have to stop visiting the monument headstones of the beloved.
An American psychologist, George Bonanno, exemplifies the difficulty of overcoming mourning through the story of Rachel and Franck, a 40-year-old married couple, with no children, many friends, spending most of their free time together. Franck dies suddenly at work, a heart attack. For weeks Rachel cannot eat anything, cries for hours does not sleep, slim becomes pale and rounded eyes, does not return to work for many months after her husband’s death. Returning to the office, she is incapable of focusing, and her boss advises her to take some time: she is still home to cry, often in bed, and a year later nothing has changed.
We must know that Rachel’s experience is about 15% of those in mourning, in our culture: a large number of people, considering that we all have to deal with mourning.
To be sad is not only normal, but also positive after a serious loss: those to whom we are dear most feel the need to stay close. Excessive and overly sad sadness, however, becomes pernicious and dysfunctional, and it is good that it is an alarm bell for those who test it. It seems that many people with a long mourning lose in the early days after their loss the sense of their own identity.
Who am I, if I’m no longer Franck’s wife? Rachel asked. Many think that everything is lost, that nothing makes sense to them, regardless of the interests previously cultivated.
What causes individuals to experience such a sense of emptiness and pain? Some answers begin to emerge: for example, people with prolonged mourning are dominated by the struggle for being loved, they just want to do it without repossessing. It is a reaction to loss other than depression, which has no object. They are unconvincing people: who is dead can not return. Also, they do not want anyone’s proximity. Their thoughts always return and only to the missing one, and the pain deepens. One of the causes of prolonged mourning is, of course, Bonanno’s addiction, especially emotional: the idea of not being able to do without the other and the fear of separation.
Even memories are not consoling but threatening and aimed at increasing suffering. You often go back with guilt and regret not having behaved differently in some situations (Rachel regrets not having had children with her husband, and comes to imagine her husband died for the pain of the failure paternity). The enormous loneliness of those who find themselves imprisoned for a mournful mourning is difficult to understand and tolerate from others, family or friends who would like to help the sorcerer to recover a full life but who are often rejected and frustrated. Often so they begin to move away, shaking the sense of loneliness.
If you look in your mourning (or in that of your friends and acquaintances) these traits, and if more than six months have passed since death, ask for help. Psychological therapy may be helpful, but not necessarily. Ask if there are mutual auto help groups in the area where you live, consult your family doctor if you have confidence in him.
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