Anyone who has experienced a great loss knows that this may be one of the toughest tests of life. Accepting that death is no longer something distant, that only happens in the movies, and it is now in your life, is not easy. Learning to live without the physical presence of someone you love very much and left so early is too painful.
Psychologists talk about ‘work out the grieving‘ – and it makes sense. It’s really a job, a huge effort of adaptation and acceptance that requires us courage, strength, patience, love and (for many) a bit of faith. In this process, not all days are the same and some of them can be terrible. What to do in the worst days?
In our study, we try to understand what can help people in times like these. Many people told us the joy of children and how they are able to bring a new sparkle to everyday life. Others told us about the value of great friendships and the importance of exchanging experiences with people who have experienced similar losses. And we also hear stories of those who found strength in religion, therapy, art, sports, at work, in books and in many other places.
What we learned is that there isn’t a ready recipe or a closed list of how to go through a grieving process or how to face the difficult days. But that, gradually, each one will experience and identify what makes them feel well – in their way, at their pace. We don’t have to organize mourning; we need to listen, respect and search for what makes us feel good. Let’s go ahead!