Day of the Dead: A Good Time to Talk About Grief and Bereavement.

The time of year to commemorate loved ones.

It is November already, and it seems to be the time of year to think about death and ghoulish things. Halloween is over,  so skulls and scary outfits can be put away for another year. However, today 1st of November in places like Spain and Poland is the day when the families visit the graves of the departed loved ones. It is the busiest time of the year at the cemetery and for flower and candle sellers. In Mexico, tomorrow the 2nd of November is the Day of the Dead.  A big fiesta day, which honours the continuing bonds with the deceased ancestors. Colourful images of skulls and parties all over the place.

So, what is it to celebrate about death? Surely the death of a loved one is one of the saddest and traumatic events anyone can experience.  Why should that be celebrated? Well, what is celebrated is not the death of the person, but the continuing link and the presence that the deceased continues to have in the lives of their friends and relatives.

The process of grieving

Grief is an extreme and painful emotion. Nonetheless, it is a natural one. However, nothing quite prepares us for it, particularly in our culture where we do not like to talk about death or grieving. Therefore, grief and bereavement can be more powerful and scary, as people have no idea of what is going to hit them -shock, numbness, denial, pain, anger, searching, depression. These feelings can come and go in no particular order, but for most people ultimately they will subside, as an acceptance of a new reality emerges. This acceptance does not mean the person will be forgotten, but a different kind of bond will continue. They will reside in the heart and the mind.  Some people, however, get stuck in one of the stages of grief and cannot move forward. In such cases, bereavement counselling can help them manage the distress and to continue along the process until they come to a more peaceful acceptance of a new reality.

Counselling during the process of mourning can help to experience it with less fear. It helps to know that there is an end to the rawness of the pain and that although the person will be missed, he or she will not be forgotten. A relationship of a different kind and dimension will emerge. It is that continuing bond, which is quite rightly celebrated on the Day of all Saints and the Day of the Dead.

If you or anyone you know needs Bereavement Counselling,  call me on 01753 867543 or email me directly at gloria.prest@hotmail.com.

 

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