Grief is the natural reaction of both humans and animals to the death of a loved one. It is the pain you feel after losing something or someone you care deeply about. The death of a close friend or family member can be devastating. After a sudden loss, he is likely to feel furious, suspicious, guilty, and a great deal of pain (Koblenz, 2016). When the loss is at its most agonising, it is when the harm is the most acute. Loss and sadness are interwoven for a person. Anxiety resulting from unpleasant thoughts or sentiments might cause defence systems to be activated unknowingly. Defending mechanisms, as per Freudian theory, constitute a distortion of reality in women's method to better cope with situations. Mental or emotional resilience is a capacity to deal with a crisis or return swiftly to one's pre-crisis state. Personal assets are promoted and negative impacts of stresses are protected when a person employs "mental processes and actions in promoting self-advantage and self-protection" To put it another way, persons who have developed psychological and behavioural characteristics that allow them to remain calm in the face of crisis or turmoil and move on without long-term negative repercussions have developed psychological resilience. Coping mechanisms are coping methods that people adopt to assist them cope with stressful or traumatising situations. People's mental health and well-being can be preserved while they cope with difficult situations via the use of coping methods (Marquitz et.al, 2016). Thus, considering this, any individual in his/her life engaged through these mechanisms to get over any kind of grief or loss they have faced. In this context, the case of Oluwakemi;s loss will be discussed along with the situations surrounding by applying grief model and theories to understand the concept better in detailed manner.
People's lives can be profoundly altered by major life events like the death of a parent or a spouse, divorce, job loss, the discovery of a chronic illness, and so on. Conversely, minor life events such as getting a promotion at work, celebrating an anniversary with friends and family, or welcoming a new child can be joyous occasions (Koblenz, 2016). This is the case of Oluwakemi who is 23 and lives in London completing degree there, due to illness, her mother Queenie died and the last time they talked they had argument which was not resolved. Further, she was unable to meet due to COVID situations. Losing a mother is just beyond unimaginable and also not able to meet and talk for such a long time is just too much for an individual. Mother’s love cannot be measured, the feeling, the connection is so pure, not being able to talk for the last time, she was feeling so disgraceful. Also, when an indidviual wants to spends a life time with someone, in this case, Oluwakemi with the fiancé, it is obvious that they would like them to meet their parents, but due to unpredented circumstances, they could not meet. This is so hearbreaking, and it is so difficult to even think how Oluwakemi must have been dealing with this incident. There are several models of grief and loss, one of which will be applied here in the following section (Kadir et.al, 2020).
Grief and Loss Models
Grief therapy has experienced a paradigm shift in the way its aims and outcomes are conceptualised as well as how the human experience of loss is perceived. Long-held beliefs about the grieving process have been disproved, with study findings showing that sorrow is not a predictable emotional journey from misery to healing. Grief and loss are inescapable parts of life. Grief is a normal and understandable reaction to loss, including physical, emotional, cognitive, behavioural, and spiritual expressions. It is also a normal and understandable response to death. Grief is an inevitable by-product of developing strong emotional ties to people, projects, and material goods. We will eventually lose all we hold. (DiCorcia and Tronick, 2011) Re-learning oneself and the world may be a difficult and exhausting process following the most devastating losses in one's life. To many, the need to "make sense" and "find meaning" after a loss is paramount. Because they were seen as being overly inflexible, the early-stage theories of mourning fell out of favour. To their credit, a number of novel conceptualizations of loss and mourning have been developed in recent years. There has been a huge impact on the way we think about phasal concepts. The Dual-Process Model of Stroebe as well as Schut (1999) and the Worden Task-Based Model are two of the most comprehensive and prominent theories of sorrow (2008). Counsellors benefit from these models because they provide a framework for treatments and help clients gain a greater sense of self-awareness and self-efficacy. To put it another way, the Dual Process Model of Grief (Stroebe & Schut, 1999) depicts loss as an oscillation among two opposing ways of functioning. A "loss orientation" is a mode of grieving in which the griever focuses on exploring and expressing the full spectrum of their feelings in reaction to their loss. At other times, the griever participates in problem-focused coping and is compelled to focus on the various external modifications that the loss necessitates, including distraction and attention to ongoing life obligations. There may be variations in how people cope depending on the situation, the person they are, and the culture they are in (Graber et.al, 2015).
Accepting the loss; processing the pain of grief; adjusting to the world without the deceased; and finding an enduring connection with a deceased loved one are all tasks that must be completed as part of the grieving process, according to Worden (2008), who argues that grieving should be considered an active process.
There are seven other aspects to consider while trying to comprehend a client's experience, according to Worden's list. A person's identity; their relationship to the deceased; how they died; their antecedents; their personality characteristics; their social mediators; and their concurrent stresses all have a role in how they react to the death of a loved one. Many of the risk and protective variables discovered in the scientific literature are included in these determinants, which give a vital framework for understanding the uniqueness of the mourning experience (Greenie, 2013). The degree of tension and ambivalence between the survivor and the deceased, as well as the depth and character of the survivor's relationship to the deceased, should all be taken into account. Physical closeness, violence or trauma, or death without a corpse are all elements that can cause considerable difficulties for grieving families.
Applying Models to Oluwakemi's Case
When Elisabeth Kübler Ross did research on people who were approaching their own deaths, she discovered the concept of sorrow and mourning. Everyone who has experienced the death of a loved one can benefit from this concept. According to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, dying is a five-stage process, she says. Denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, and acceptance are the stages. Rejection is the most common reaction when presented with shocking or upsetting news. Disbelief, denial, or shock protect the individual by letting them process the news at their own time and become aware of what's going on around them (Hamilon, 2016). In the event when a person tests positive for a potentially life-threatening condition and believes the test result is erroneous, they may seek a second opinion or just feel a psychological feeling of distrust. both the right and the proper thing to do.
Thus, with respect to the above three models discussed, the appropriate one considering the situation are that of Elisabeth and Worden, applying both in the case will help in understanding the scenario of Olukawemi in detailed manner.
Denial is a stage that might help you get through the first few days after a loss. You may feel as though life has no point, is meaningless, or is simply too much to handle. You begin to reject the news and become numb to it. Many people question how they will adjust to a new way of life at this point in their lives. If you are told that a loved one has died, you may hold out hope that the wrong individual was identified. At this point, you are not living in "actual reality," but rather in "preferable reality," which is what you are in denial. Denial and shock really aid in the process of dealing with and coping with loss (Pomeroy and Garcia, 2011). Similarly, in case of Olukawemi, it was quite unbelievable to accept the fact and the guilt that surrounds of not being able to meet and getting into fight last time they talk is likely to led her to the denial of mother’s death. This will help her get through the death of her loved one, mother to be able to adjust to the surroundings.
As soon as you return to the' real' world and stop living in the 'desirable' world, you may become angry. "Why me?" and "Life is not fair!" are popular refrains at this point. You may blame others for your sadness, and you may also target your anger against close friends and family members. While in this case, Okulawemi blamed herself for her behaviour and was angry that she could not meet her for the last time. This is a common reaction to grieving. You are baffled by how this could have happened to you. Even if you have a strong faith, you may begin to doubt God's existence. Is there a God? " "How come he did not defend me?" Anger is a natural part of the grieving process, according to researchers and mental health specialists alike (Stroebe et.al, 2017). Also, she and her fiancé were not able to meet her mother which they were supposed to as they are engaged and their family does not even meet. This will add upon to the anger upon the fact of the surrounding social network’s reaction upon their situation. The belief is that even though you feel like you are in a never-ending cycle of rage, it will eventually evaporate and you will recover faster if you actually experience it. If you conceal your feelings of rage, you are doing yourself a disservice - it is a natural response, and possibly even required, same is the case with Okulawemi, they should open up about their situation and should undertake part in counselling or group sessions to combat the issue of anger.
In times of distress, have you ever made a pact with God? When my mother will be well, I swear I will never complain again if you please, God. This is a negotiation. In a sense, this is a stage of hopelessness (Worden, 2015). You may feel that you can avoid the pain by negotiating a settlement. Okulawemi at some point must have been engaged in this activity of negotiating with respect to the process of grief. A typical form of bereavement, depression, is widely recognised. People tend to equate sadness with grieving since it is a "present" feeling. It symbolizes the emptiness we experience when the person or circumstance is gone or done and we're living in the present now, same is the case of Okulawemi, this feeling is eating her, as she could not meet her mother. It is common for people in this stage to retreat from life, feel numb, experience a fog, and not want to get out of bed. In the beginning, it may feel like the world is too much for you to handle. But eventually, it is likely that Okulawemi will be able to adjust to these situations and recover from her grief.
Acceptance is the final stage of sorrow that Kübler-Ross identifies. "My spouse died, but I will be OK," not "My husband died, but I willl be fine." You may begin to feel more stable at this point. You return to the real world. Eventually, Olulawemi will too, and she will be able to adjust within the external surroundings and will live a new life with her fiancé, though they need acceptance to this fact and parents support would have been great, but nothing can stop that, it is a part of life, one needs to recover from grief sooner or later.The "new" reality is that their mother will never return, or that one may die shortly as a result of the disease, and they have accepted it (Worden, 2015). Although this is not a "good" thing, but it is tolerable. A period of adjustment and re-adjustment is taking place. Every day has its ups and downs, but there are also fantastic days. The fact that you have reached this point does not imply that you will never again have a day where you are overcome with sadness. However, the good days outnumber the bad ones in the long run.
Considering the model of Worden, accepting the magnitude of the loss on a more nuanced level is necessary. For instance, one may use the past tense to refer to someone and acknowledge their death, but one may downplay the importance of their relationship with that person, dismissing the impact the loss would have on them. Basic acceptance of the loss is all well and good, but this process will not be completed until the depth of the connection and the impact it has on them has been thoroughly recognised (Doka, 2018). Olukawemi need to accept the fact that she and her mother did had fight the last time the talked, they did not meet for a long time and she could not introduce her fiancé to her. Acceptance of the death's mechanism is another major point of contention. Family members and friends may have difficulty accepting or acknowledging how the individual died if the death was by suicide, overdose, or other stigmatised death. In this case too, sudden death due to illness was quite difficult for them to accept.
A bereaved person experiences a wide range of emotions, including grief, fear, loneliness, despair, hopelessness, and rage, as well as feelings of blame, humiliation, and guilt. This aspect is all about admitting, talking about, and comprehending these complicated feelings in order to move on. Denying or avoiding one's feelings can be dangerous. Olukawemi also faces these emotions, filled mostly with anger (not being able to meet her mother for the last time and could not introduce her fiancé), guilt (as the last time they talked, they fought), and feelings of blame and hopelessness. People who have lost loved ones are more susceptible to this inclination because of society's reluctance to accept or express sadness.
Adjusting to the absence of a loved one is the third task that Olukawemi is supposed to engaged herself in. As Worden notes, this work may have a variety of meanings for various people based on their relationship to the person who has died, as well as the roles that have been affected by the loss. In respect of mother, Olukawemi should accept the fact that she is no more, it was not in her control. Further, she cannot hold the time and thereby considering the social external factors, she should take the measure to live a life along with her fiancé, and be happy, if her mother would have been alive, she wanted her to be happy with her love of live. This process of readjusting might take a long time and may necessitate alterations on many levels, including internal, external, and spiritual. She can either join meditation classes, undertake counselling, group therapies to be able to make the necessary changes.
Just realising the many roles their loved one played, much alone making the necessary emotional and spiritual adjustments, can take a long time. As a result, widows, or daughters may have to master a wide range of new skills and activities, from bill-paying as well as parenting to environmental adjustments like living independently and doing things on one's own. As a result of the experience of death, one's spiritual surroundings may need to be reconfigured. This endeavour necessitates the acquisition of the knowledge and abilities essential to function effectively in a new context - one that is internal, external, and spiritual (Hamilton, 2016).
In the end, the final job is to find a lasting connection with the departed while going on a new journey. After re-thinking and rewording this fact multiple times, Olukawemi need to let her mother go and move towards overcoming her grief. It basically is "withdrawing emotional energy from the departed and reinvesting it in a new connection," which sounds mechanical and unsophisticated. Since Worden's knowledge of sorrow has evolved, he has shown a dedication to ensuring that his work reflects that understanding. Every time someone is prepared to revise their hypothesis to better represent evolving understanding, it gets our vote of confidence (Stroebe et.al, 2017).
Finding a way to maintain an acceptable emotional connection with the person who has passed away while still enabling us to live is the main goal of overcoming sorrow for Olukawemi. This might signify different things to different grievers, much like the other chores. However, it frequently entails providing space for reflection and reminiscence while also embracing new experiences and connections. Thus, motional coping mechanisms, such as those used by Olukawemi and her fiancé are aimed at managing the feelings triggered by stress perception. Some examples of successful coping methods include minimizing avoidance, refusing responsibility and acknowledging fault or fault-finding, positive re-evaluation and practising self-control. Treatment for stress that relies on reducing, minimising, or eliminating the emotional component of the stressor is known as stress reduction. Olukawemi and her fiancé can use this strategy in a variety of ways, such as taking responsibility, seeking social support, positively overestimating stress, exercising self-control, avoiding and utilising social distance, and so on. Olukawemi and her fiancé may also rely on their social networks and the individuals in their local surroundings for help.
Thus, to conclude overcoming from grief is an important part of life. The study explores a variety of life phases and occurrences, as well as the actual and potential ramifications they have. Incidence rate of incidents that have an effect on the networks of friends, family, and acquaintances. This article covers a wide range of coping strategies. This shows how one may have to ultimately accept the fact of death and thereby move on with their lives memorizing them and ultimately making their wish come true by being happy.
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