Coming face to face with losing someone or something we have come to love may be one of the hardest experiences we face in our lives. How we deal with loss could make all the difference in how it affects our daily functioning and our future. Expressing grief when someone we love passes on is a normal response and everyone progresses through the grief process at a different pace. Total Home Health professionals are familiar with individuals who have dealt with loss, and grief, so we will be a positive addition to your support system and remain by your side to help you through your difficult time.
For your information and to get more technical in our descriptions of what the different types of losses are that people actually experience in their life…take a look below because there actually are differences.
- Necessary Loss
- A loss related to change that is part of the cycle of life or that is anticipated, but still may be intensely felt. This type of loss can be replaced with something different or better.
- Actual Loss
- Any loss of a valued person, item, or status…such as loss of a job or spouse.
- Perceived Loss
- Any loss defined by the client that is not obvious or verifiable to others.
- Maturational or Developmental Loss
- Any loss normally expected due to the developmental processing of life. These losses are associated with normal life transitions and help to develop coping skills.
- Situational Loss
- Any loss caused by an external event.
Losses can be devastating to those individuals who are the survivors. For some individuals they may cope rather easily, and some may experience a more difficult time. After a loss obviously comes the process of grieving. There are 5 different stages of the grief process which may or may not necessarily be experienced in order, and the length of each stage will vary from person to person. The 5 different stages of this process include:
- Client has difficulty believing a terminal diagnosis or loss, such as a diagnosis of cancer or the tragic loss of a relative.
- Client lashes out at other people or things due to being upset related to their loss or terminal diagnosis.
- Client begins to negotiate for more time or for a cure. For example, an elderly person may say, “Please give me just a few more months to see my grandchild graduate from college.”
- Client seems to be overwhelmingly sad over their inability to change the situation.
- Client acknowledges what is happening and plans for the future without including what has been lost, such as making plans to travel for their next vacation.
How individuals progress through their grief depends on many things. If they have experienced loss before, they may have an idea how well they will cope with other losses in the future. There are other factors that influence loss, grief and the ability to cope, including:
- Current stage of development
- People all will cope with loss differently depending upon their age and what they have already experienced.
- Relationships and social support systems
- The more positive social support an individual has, generally the better off they are at coping during a loss.
- Type and significance of a loss
- Depending upon how the loss happened and what was lost will play a role in how individuals cope. For instance, coping usually will differ if the loss was either tragic or anticipated…or if the loss was an animal or a spouse.
- If the individual was exceptionally dependent upon who they lost, there will be an increased chance of dysfunctional grieving.
- Culture and ethnicity
- Religious beliefs and practices
- Socioeconomic status
- If the individual experiencing loss has greater resources available and a way to get to them...more likely their grieving experience will occur much more smoothly.