Coping and adapting to the loss of individuals close to us is the hardest challenge in human life. I have proven that fact from the analysis of the articles dealing with the pain of losing someone such as Death Not be Proud, Tuesdays with Morrie, and A Grief Observed, authored by John Donne, Morrie, and Lewis respectively. I learned that the characters' reactions to death relied heavily on their closeness with the dead because Lewis response to the death of H is more intense than Mitch's grief over the death of his lecturer. Furthermore, I have learned from the experience of the three characters that people do not comprehend death as the natural element of life because loss leads to confusion, depression, and sadness. The resultant depression must diminish with time, and thus it is important to grief. While it is not easy to come to accept the loss of our loved ones and friends, I now acknowledge the importance of grieving in overcoming the feeling of loneliness, depression, and sadness as we embrace the life and time spent with them. The most important aspect that I think can help people significantly in dealing with grief is acceptance of the notion that there is nothing on earth that can last forever. What helps me personally at such hard times is dwelling on the fact that we are all spiritual and humans are bound to die.
Drawing lessons from Mitch's acceptance of the loss of Morrie, it is evident that humans have the natural element of resilience and thus the most important aspect in grief is enduring the loss, accepting and moving on with our lives. After reading Lewis' article and comparing it to the two other books, I learned that there is uniqueness in the way different people deal with grief. Some might take a short time to accept the loss while others take long to agree with the reality of loss, an experience that Mamo (1999) considers to as a complicated grief. The difference between Lewis and Mitch's levels of pain reveal that loss of a lover and spouse such as the case of H is more complex than when the dead person is not closely related to us. I have experienced many people lose their husbands and wives, and such experiences have led to my conclusion that losing a lover is a form of amputation, a type of disability that can take ages to heal. Furthermore, I share and agree with Donne's (2006) sentiments on the absence and negligence of God during such difficult times basing on my experience in which the over spelled suggestion that God is all-pervading and ever-present did not assist me in wiping away my grief.
Although Lewis (2016) in his article A Grief Observed demonstrates uniqueness in ways in which humans experience sorrow, my understanding of his message is that there are fundamental similarities in the ways in which we all experience pain. For instance, some of the things that Lewis mentions in the article to describe his experience include the desire for forgetfulness, swallowing the occurrence, fear and memory loss (Lewis, 2016). Any other person who has ever lost a lover can share the similar feeling with Lewis. If I can place myself in Lewis' shoes for a second, I will also share the same feelings, sentiments, and sense of memory loss. It is because of my belief that there is neither photograph nor memory that I can use in recalling memories and smile of a beloved one who has suddenly left for good. I will similarly encounter series of pain from the thoughts of previous time together. I have learned from Lewis' experiences that the sooner we learn and come to terms with the loss, the better we become adapted to move on with our lives. On the other hand, Donne's (2006) poem demonstrates impatience and the act of blaming God for the occurrence of death and for that reason, he believes that death is a significant element in the lives of believers in testing God's hands in delivering them from the mishaps of death. I agree with Donne (2006) in that death is a form of God's way of testing the strength of our faiths but goes overboard as it ends up hurting us.
The other essential lesson that I have learned from the analysis of the three articles is the concept of dying awareness. Becoming aware of dying and death of another person is a process that occurs due to the interaction of multiple factors which Glasser and Strauss view as the procedure of making meaning. The process of making sense and coming to terms with the news of death or learning about impending death among entails a complex web of emotional response and conscious knowledge. The Dying Awareness theory outlines the role of awareness in influencing the type of interaction that people have on the sick individuals. Glasser and Strauss describe the existence of awareness categories such as mutual-pretense, suspicion and open awareness (Mamo, 1999). However, it is evident that only explicit cognizance is shared in the two articles because Mitch was aware of the impending death of Morrie who also knew that he would die (Albom, 2010). Furthermore, Lewis was aware of H's condition since H's death was not sudden. The association between the vanishing individuals in the two articles confirm the findings from various studies that the form of awareness that the relatives, friends and the sick person have on the probable day of death has a significant influence on the type of interaction they have. However, regardless of the nature of the awareness that one has about the imminent death, it does not affect the grief on aspects such as intensity and the time to feel better after the loss.
In summary, I have gained insights into the concepts of dying and grief from the instances of interacting with the dying people to the illustrations of coping mechanism after learning about the loss of close friends, relatives, and loved ones. The different ways of coping with the loss which ranges from the psychological and mental disturbance to the extended level of blaming God and viewing death as a punishment from Him. Grieving can take a considerable amount of time depending on the relationship between the grieving people and the dead person but is not reliant on the awareness that they had about the imminent death. I agree with APA (2016) that one of the proven strategy and coping mechanism for recovering from sadness, emptiness, loneliness and depression resulting from loss is social and psychological support. As for me, the excellent healing tool is the elapse of time which can take my grief away because the remembrance of the dead relative or friend can only diminish with time.
Albom, M. (2010). Tuesdays with Morrie. Sydney: Crown Publishers.
APA. (2016). Grief: Coping with the loss of your loved one. Retrieved from American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/grief.aspx
Donne, J. (2006). Death Be Not Proud. Project Gutenberg.
Lewis, C. (2016). A Grief Observed. Gutenberg Canada: Ebook Samizdat.
Mamo, L. (1999). Death and dying: confluences of emotion and awareness. Sociology of Health & Illness, 21(1):13-36.
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