Contributed by Nicholas Pediaditakis, MD, DLFAPA
We humans, in addition to a selfish, individual part we all have, should not forget we are also mainly social beings: We form friendships, partnerships and groups to belong to. And, we bond, love, cooperate contributing and being contributed, and feel devoted to our children, grandchildren, our wives/husbands we love and be loved in return. We feel joy and gladness in their presence and sharing experiences we had together. And then they are suddenly gone!
We now have to pay the price for being humans and for the joys of the camaraderie, companionship and the loving days we had with them together, as we suddenly lose them, forever. They get sick, have accidents, die, or even decide to leave.
We now feel a permanent awful absence in our life. “Her shoes by the door are empty all day long!” I said sobbing to my children when my beloved wife of 49 years died suddenly of Cancer some years ago.
Our heart indeed bleeds, and we even feel as if there is a missing part from our soul. We mourn; our joys for days and months are diminishing, our days feel gray. We continuously think of the departed one, over and over again.
Time does heal, somewhat, the wound of the loss; but, the permanent scar is there to see. Perhaps we end up a little wiser and gentler and even treasure more our days left on this earth, still, lonely as we may feel. We may even reorder the priorities and the matters that now count in our life.
We are not alone. Other fellow social mammals like elephants are capable of grief. They mourn, as well, for days and weeks lingering over the dead body of the loved one, often with actual tears in their eyes.
Copyright © 2015 by Nicholas Pediaditakis, MD