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The Physical Effects of Grief

Discuss about the Critical Reflective Analysis for Theory and Practice of Nursing.

One of the events that almost changed my life completely the death of my grandfather. The loss took toll of me and I was virtually incapacitated in all aspects of wellness. I had developed very close relationship with my grandfather. He was very close to me. He used to share with me his experience and I must admit that I had learned many things from him. Then the things turned in the eve of 2014. This was when my grandfather started developing complications. He was in and out of hospital. It reached a time when he could not maintain the functional basic needs. All along, I used to be his caregiver. Even then, he used to give me ideas about life. On November that year, his state deteriorated significantly and towards the end of that month, he passed away. His death affected me significantly for the first one week from the time he died.  Luckily, I managed to recover within few weeks. In this paper, I will reflect on my experiences following the death of my grandfather. More so, I will reflect on some of the lessons I learned during grieving and recovery period.

Physically, I had noticeable change. I experienced a lot of physical discomfort such as mouth, pain, alterations of the intestinal habit, tightness in the chest, tightness in the throat, hypersensitivity to noise, dyspnea, palpitations, lack of energy, muscle tension, restlessness, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, weight loss, dizziness. Some research has shown that stress situations are closely related to immunosuppression and, therefore, the human being is more vulnerable to illness. And obviously the death of a loved one is one of the most stressful experiences. Emotionally, I was engulfed by feelings of sadness, anger, anger, fear, anxiety. I also had feelings of loneliness, helplessness and helplessness, depression, relief and bitterness. The different emotional moods that engulfed me is a reflection of the kind of relationship I had with my grandfather.

Concerning the cognitive aspect of wellness, I experienced mental states such as difficulty concentrating, confusion, mental dullness, lack of interest in things, repetitive ideas, usually related to the deceased, sensations of presence, frequent forgetting.

Behaviorally, I exhibited social isolation, hyperactivity or inactivity, search behaviors, crying, increased consumption of snuff, alcohol, psychodrugs or other drugs. Socially, my life during the mourning process what characterized by resentment towards others and social isolation. Lastly, on spiritual aspects, I found myself asking questions about the meaning of death and life.

The Emotional Impact of Loss

One thing I must stress is that the mourning time did not last long. I mourn for one week. During the burial, I had already accepted the fate.

My mourning experiences can be analyzed using different theories of mourning. The reason why I experienced a lot of emotional moods is because I had close relationship with my grandfather. Research by In Smith & In Parker (2015) shows that if, before the death the relationship with the loved one has healed and the affection has been expressed, the handling of the sadness will be less complex. They added that if it has not been possible to express, we still have time to alleviate the pain through visualization techniques etc. Generally, the penalties shared in a group of people in mourning with similar situations is a relief.  Sandberg & Grant (2017) revealed that the most effective remedy for sadness is consolation, which fundamentally will have to be sought within oneself, from oneself, without underestimating what is received from the outside by other loved ones. I think I consoled myself at one point. I remember asking myself what if I continue grieving. Further, research shows that if the origin of the sadness is rather that he did not have time to say goodbye or to show the deceased person all that it meant for the deceased, he can be suggested to write a farewell letter. A sincere letter, written from the heart. It is also believed that guilt often appears with some frequency. If the cause of the fault can be corrected to some extent by physical or material acts, it is a good idea to encourage the debtor to perform them. Maybe some kind of ritual in which we ask for the forgiveness of the loved one can alleviate it. Related to this strategy, if the person is a believer, asking for forgiveness through a prayer, knowing that the deceased person can hear us from another dimension, can give good results. … noted that there is never too much left over in the work of mourning, if guilt appears, trying to objectify behaviors, since in many cases they are more the result of our self-demands than of reality. It is also important to note that when the predominant feeling is rage, we must understand that it is a compensation mechanism for pain felt. The best tool is to channel and express anger. Physical activity with great effort is usually a good remedy to calm the anger that oppresses us, as well as breaking papers, or hitting a cushion or perhaps shouting in a safe place.

The Cognitive Challenges of Grieving

The reason why I recovered from the mourning process is because I was able to emotionally relocate the deceased and continue living. Probably the memories of a meaningful relationship are never lost. That is why Walsh-Burke (2012) noted that we can never eliminate those people who have been close to us, or from us, from our own history. The availability of the debtor to start new relationships depends not on forgetting the deceased, but on finding an appropriate place in his psychological life, an important place, but leaving a space for others. Life is full of new possibilities (Holland, 2014). You can enjoy again, you can think about being happy and establishing new relationships. The fourth task is hindered by maintaining the attachment of the past instead of continuing to form new ones. Some people find the loss so painful that they make the promise never to want again. It is a process with ups and downs because, sometimes, on certain dates, in anniversaries, the pain, the impotence, the sadness that we believed overcome are triggered again. In order for this fourth task to be completed, the previous three must have been successfully completed (Zuba, 2014).

Although the death of my grandfather virtually incapacitated me for one week, I am happy that I learned a very good life lesson from the experience. I learned that duels, however painful and complicated, may be exceptional opportunities for our personal growth and fulfillment, as long as we are able to face them and integrate the corresponding loss (Walter & McCoyd, 2016). The healthy person is one who does not try to escape from pain, but knowing that it will happen, tries to know how to handle it. I also learned that death may claim our greatest and most beautiful truth: the value of love. And our most tragic truth: the radical solitude that characterizes us. The death of a loved one confronts us irremediably before the mystery of life (Slevin, Basford & Slevin, 2003). It imposes silence on us; and the empty silence; and emptiness, inevitable reflection.

Holland (2011) reminds us that grief is so devastating and terrifying because it confronts the person with the four basic conflicts of existence: death, freedom, loneliness and lack of meaning. Indeed, one of the terrible circumstances of the most terrible, is the death of a loved one, which sometimes may turn so oppressive and unbearable that the person is drowned in the immense bitterness of his grief (Tessmann, 2011).

Behavioral Responses to Mourning

To conclude, I want to reiterate the point expressed by Alapack (2010), which revealed that making losses should not be a passive resignation or submission but a flexible and balanced attitude that allows the person to save their own values ??and perform to the extent compatible with their circumstances. Effectively forgetting is not a solution during the time of grief. Oblivion through repression is never liberating, it seems to move us away from what makes us suffer, but it does not achieve it completely, because the memory remains buried in us and continues to influence every moment of our life. The repressed emotions act generating permanent tension, and as a result of the chronic tension a physical symptom can arise, a painful and unproductive reminder that I am ignoring some important emotion. In fact, when I am not aware of my emotions, or recognize the processes that I am going through (alienation), it is the symptom or the disease that is the only means of expression that remains for our organism. Thinking about pain without denying it, without sweetening it, but also without reducing it to a dark experience without exit, that is the key. The duel is elaborated healthily as it is learned to remember and integrate the best of the relationship with the deceased, and it is possible to invest the energy in new affections, and the loved one is living forever somewhere in the heart where Joy dominates more because it happened, that's worth it because it ended. We cannot love without hurting. Grief is an indicator of love. If we have loved intensely, we cannot die without leaving someone hurt. To loss someone you have had close contact is the dialectic of life. Pain, like love, has its times, its rhythms, its periods.

References 

Holland, D. (2011). The essential guide to grief and grieving. New York: Alpha.

Holland, D. (2014). Essential Guide to Grief and Grieving. DK Publishing.

In Smith, M. C., & In Parker, M. E. (2015). Nursing theories & nursing practice. Philadelphia, PA : F.A. Davis Company

Alapack, R. (2010). Sorrow's profiles: Death, grief, and crisis in the family. London: Karnac.

Slevin, O., Basford, L., & Slevin, O. (2003). Theory and Practice of Nursing. London: Cengage Learning.

Tessmann, L. (2011). Sacred grief: Exploring a new dimension to grief. Ann Arbor, MI: Loving Healing Press.

Sandberg, S., & Grant, A. M. (2017). Option B: Facing adversity, building resilience, and finding joy. New York : Knopf

Walsh-Burke, K. (2012). Grief and loss: Theories and skills for the helping professions. Boston: Pearson.

Zuba, T. (2014). Permission to mourn: A new way to do grief. Shelbyville, KY : Wasteland Press

Walter, C. A., & McCoyd, J. L. M. (2016). Grief and loss across the lifespan: A biopsychosocial perspective. New York : Springer Publishing Company

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