Losing a loved one, regardless of the cause, is a very painful experience. Naturally, then the fear of losing eats into your mind and slowly takes over your mind. Overcoming the fear of losing a loved one is a very personal process; no one is able to truly understand your predicament. Fortunately, there are several scientifically proven techniques that can help people think more realistically about death, deal with the fear of loss, and gain social support from those around them.
Method 1 of 3: Think Realistically About Death
Step 1. Understand that fear of death is a natural and human feeling
Indeed, not everyone has faced the death of their closest loved ones directly, but at least almost everyone has a fear of the possibility. According to terror management theory, thinking about the death of loved ones can create paralyzing fear. The thought also reminds us that nothing lasts forever in this world; Death can come to us at any time.
- Know that you are not alone; many people feel the same way. If you don't mind, try sharing your feelings with people who have experienced deep loss; this will make you realize that what you feel is not wrong. You are not alone and support from others will always be there for you.
- Validate your fear. When fear strikes, say this sentence: “I can feel scared or sad. It was a natural response to this situation.”
Step 2. Focus on the things you can control
Your partner is seriously ill and sentenced to life soon? Spending time and energy worrying about your partner's age will only add to your stress and make your depression worse. Remember, the only thing you can do is take good care of him while he's alive; You can't control his age. Focus on what you can do today, such as spending the day with him or doing positive activities that will distract you from your fears and sadness.
- Think of all the things you could do in that situation. For example, you can control how you react to the situation. You can also focus on calming down, providing the best care possible, and expressing your emotions to him while he's still alive.
- Let go of the things you can't control. If you're having trouble doing this, try visualizing what you can and can't control. In your shadow, put your fears and worries on a leaf, then drift the leaf on the surface of the river. Keep your eyes on the leaf as it moves away.
- Set your limits. Worrying about the health or the remaining lives of your loved ones can really turn your emotions, energies, and moods upside down. Do whatever you can, and don't forget to take the time to take care of yourself. Sometimes, limiting yourself to other people is also necessary to maintain your sanity.
- Focus on today. Fear arises because you worry too much about things that might happen in the future. Focus on what you can do to make the most of the day, seize the day !
Step 3. Learn to accept loss
Research shows that someone who can understand and accept the phenomenon of death in general is able to be more resilient in dealing with loss.
- Start by listing all the emotions and thoughts that accompany your fear. Write down all your worries and fears, then learn to accept them one by one. Tell yourself, “I accept this fear and pain. I accept the fact that one day, I will lose him. Those times must have been tough, but I accept it as part of the life I'm living now."
- Remind yourself that death is a part of life. Like death, losing a loved one is something you cannot avoid. Accept that reality as part of the dynamics of your life.
Step 4. Think positively about the world
When someone believes that the world is fair (good people will receive the good and bad people will receive the consequences), they will more easily deal with the sadness that arises when they have to lose the people closest to them.
- One way to think positively about the world is to understand the cycle of life. Life and death are natural things and will inevitably happen; for there to be life, there must be death. Try to see the beauty in these two phenomena. The life cycle is a privilege that we should cherish and be grateful for; if one person dies, someone else will be helped to live.
- Learn to be grateful. Say to yourself, “Maybe one day I will lose him. But at least for now I'm grateful for the time and opportunity that I have to spend time with him." In addition, we also need to be grateful for the opportunities in life that we still have until this moment.
- If your loved one is battling an incurable disease, convince yourself that death may be the best way to end the suffering. You can focus on the fact that he will rest in peace, regardless of what beliefs you (and him) hold.
Method 2 of 3: Dealing with the Fear of Losing
Step 1. Use any method you want
You certainly need to prepare your energy, emotions, and mentally to face death that can come at any time, right? Therefore, do whatever can help strengthen your mental and reduce your fear.
- Everyone has their own way of dealing with fear, grief, and depression. Some examples of positive activities to relieve the fear of losing a loved one are exercising, writing, creating art, being in nature, praying, and listening to music.
- Treat your feelings in the right way; allow yourself to feel it and express how you feel if it makes you more comfortable. A person whose level of depression increases (before the death of a loved one) is assumed to be able to more easily let go when the loss event actually occurs. Crying is a normal and healthy way to express your sadness and fears.
- Keep a record of all your fears. Write down your thoughts and feelings about the possible loss of loved ones.
Step 2. Take a deep breath
If you start to panic and worry too much when you think about this possibility, take a deep breath. Breathing therapy can help reduce physiological reactions (such as difficulty breathing, a racing heart, etc.) and make you more relaxed.
Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Inhale deeply through your nose, then exhale slowly through your mouth. Concentrate on your breathing pattern; Pay attention to the movement of your stomach/diaphragm when you breathe
Step 3. Increase your self-esteem, confidence, and independence
High self-esteem is a major factor that can protect you from death-related issues. Someone who is too dependent or often in conflict with their partner will automatically be more vulnerable when they have to lose their partner.
- Be more independent and plan an independent life.
- Trust me, things will get easier one day.
Step 4. Create meaning and purpose
A person who believes that life has a purpose will more easily accept death; it also helps reduce the fear of loss they feel. Having a purpose in life means thinking that life is not just a 'hit through'. Life is not just about 'to exist and survive', but is filled with specific goals such as making your family happy, working, building a better world, helping others, etc. If you have a specific life goal, you will focus on achieving it and will not stop even if you are abandoned forever by a loved one. Having a purpose in life assures you that even if that person is no longer by your side, life will go on and need your contribution.
- Remember, you are an important element in society; focus on what you can contribute to this world. Have you helped others? Have you been nice to strangers? Have you donated social funds or volunteered to help people in need? Realizing these things can make you realize that your life has a purpose; achieve that goal even if you just lost a loved one. You can also focus on one long-term activity or project specifically dedicated to a loved one.
- Try to create meaning in death. For example, you might think that death is something that is necessary for life to continue. You may also think that death is simply a process of moving to another dimension (especially for those of you who believe in an afterlife). What does death mean to you? Will your loved ones live in another dimension after their death? Will the people closest to you stay in the minds of those who love them? Or will his contribution to society live on and be remembered even though his body is no longer there?
Step 5. Speak to a power greater and higher than you
Getting closer to God or sharpening spirituality can make it easier for most people to respond to the phenomenon of death.
- If you are not religious or do not believe in the existence of God, you can focus on other higher forces such as universal forces. Higher power can also lie in a group of people (considering that a group of people tends to be stronger than one person).
- Write a letter to a power that you consider higher, conveying to him any worries and fears you feel.
- Put your thoughts and feelings in prayer. Ask for whatever you want (for example, so that your loved one can rest in peace, no longer suffer, etc.).
Method 3 of 3: Increasing Social Support
Step 1. Appreciate every moment and opportunity you have with your loved ones
If he's still alive, make sure you make the most of the time you have before death hits him.
- Talk to him about your memories, and tell him what you appreciate about him.
- Make sure you convey how much you love him.
- Conversations before death are not easy to do. But make sure you say everything you want to say to avoid regret. To make it easier for you, first try to write it down on a piece of paper.
Step 2. Talk to your family
Family support and help can be very effective in reducing the emotional difficulties you feel.
- If you feel the need to talk to family or friends, ask them if they are available first. Most likely, they are feeling the same way and need your support.
- Surround yourself with friends and family, spend time chatting and doing activities together.
Step 3. Share your thoughts and feelings with people you can trust
In addition to your family, talking to people outside your family you can trust can also help you deal with your fear of loss in a positive way. Believe me, discussing your feelings and thoughts with other people is very effective in reducing the fear and anxiety you feel.
If you are a religious person, try sharing your problem with your clergyman. Let him calm you down and lead you to pray the right way
Step 4. Offer support to others
Chances are, you're not the only one who has concerns and needs support. By providing support to others, you will indirectly transmit that positive aura to yourself.
Introduce the issue of death to your children. If you have children, make sure you bring up the topic of death in your presence. Most libraries and bookstores have children's books that can help you address the topic in an appropriate way
Step 5. Keep your relationship alive
One of the biggest fears that haunts you is ending the relationship after the person dies. Trust me, your relationship with him will live on in your mind, in every prayer you say, and in the depths of your heart.
Focus on the fact that your bond with him will never be broken even if one of you dies
- If you feel the need to distract yourself by watching comedy shows, or getting closer to people who don't feel the same loss, feel free to do so every now and then.
- Cry if you want to cry. Crying is a natural biological response to the situation.