Surviving the Loss of a Loved One…..Can I Really Do It?

I don’t know if you have ever lost a truly close loved one, but it is painful. It feels almost like someone is repeatedly stabbing you in the chest with absolutely no mercy. The loss could be a husband, a wife, a son, a daughter, a mother, or father or even a close friend. Someone asked me once, “Dr. O why do I feel so terrible about the loss of my close friend. After all, we were not blood? My response was, “You choose to have friends in your life and  if it was a truly treasured friend they can be just like blood or in some cases closer than a brother.

When we lose someone close, we sometimes walk around feeling empty for days. We cry suddenly and in most cases, even lose our appetite. This can be painful. If we don’t get a handle on our grief, we may become clinically depressed and this certainly requires medical attention. Be cautious when dealing with the dreaded signs and signals of grief/bereavement. We must keep a watchful, medical eye out and know when to seek professional help.

  • Next, many of you want to know, “How do I deal with this pain?” After all in some cases it has been years since you lost that loved one and it seems like only yesterday. There are a couple of steps you should take in an effort to move forward and live in as much peace as possible.
  • First prepare your memoirs formally. A scrape-book, a happy song or that special room in your house that you may have shared with the person. It is important to replace the painful memories of your loss, with the fun memories of the good time.
  • Second, feel free to cry or have a catharsis when you need to. It is ok to cry but just don’t make yourself ill. You may have to change positions, leave the house or take a brief ride down the street. This can certainly be therapeutic for you.
  • If you can handle it, visit the burial site with flowers or balloons. You know which one your loved one liked the most. Visit early in the morning because the visit may be emotional and it may take you some time to recover.

Those were just a few suggestions. Now finally, I would suggest that you also pray and meditate on comforting scriptures. If you are not sure what happens after death, you should certainly directly consult with your Pastor or the religious leader of your choice. Don’t be afraid to share your feelings with your spiritual leader. I often recommend grief counseling initially with spiritual leaders before moving into the secular realm.

One thing for sure, if you continue to live, death will come your family’s way.It can be cruel initially, shocking at the onset and devastating in some instances, but you will make it through this difficult time. Remember trails come to make you strong. Don’t panic you will make it through.

If you are still having trouble, feel free to schedule an appointment at my office. Go to or call my office at (404) 575-4785.

Hang in there and be encouraged,

Dr. O

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