This edition of Hood Health 101 gives some sound advice on how to deal with all types of losses we experience in life
“Have you ever lost a loved one? Or never understood love ’til you lost
one? Where ya heart at? I left mines behind with my dearly
departed…Strength missing. To take losses is the hardest/ The ones
that overcome be the calmest/ Strive regardless…” -Prodigy of Mobb
Deep, “Where Ya Heart At?”
It’s never easy to deal with a loss whether expected or unexpected, unless of course you’re trying to lose a loser, but if you have love for someone or something, and there is some sort of separation, it can be hard.
There are many kinds of loss that people experience. Here are a few:
– Incest or Sexual Abuse
– Infant or Child Loss
– Spousal Loss through Death
– Spousal Loss through Divorce
– Loss of Parent
– Loss of Sibling or other family member
– Loss of close friend
– Loss of Job
– Loss of Pet
– Child Leaves Home
– Relationship Separation – Intimate separation, an ended relationship with a Child, Parent, Friend or other Loved one.
– Loss of your Physical or Mental capacities
– A loved one gets sent to prison
– A missing person
– Parents divorce or separate
– Loss of family home
When these losses happen, you may experience feelings of grief due to adjusting, anger, some regret, heartache, feelings of separation, being overwhelmed with figuring things out, or maybe a sense of loneliness. It’s all okay. Everyone has to go through their own process which cannot be timed or rushed. There are said to be five stages of grief – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. I’ve watched someone go through each of these stages within thirty minutes, but there are people who may experience these stages in a variety of ways if at all. It’s normal to be angry, cry, sleep more than normal, be unable to sleep, not want to eat, even to feel guilty or regretful. Once you’re able to somewhat get yourself together and move on, you may have occasional thoughts of the person you miss, the job you lost, the responsibilities that you still have while not getting a paycheck or wondering how you’ll raise this child
alone. It’s ok.
What can you do? You know what we do in the hood. We pour “libations” for our lost homies. We always set up a “memorial” for people to come mourn and pay their respects. And you know we gotta
have R.I.P. or “Free Mookie” t-shirts, but there are many other ways to honor a person that we miss. You can take all of those emotions and put them into something positive. For example, if you experienced a divorce and will now be a single parent, you can form a group of parents and children who have experienced the same pain. If you have lost a pet, you may want to create a gravesite for him in the yard. Maybe you lost your mother and you’d like to plant a tree in her
honor. If your best friend dies of breast cancer, you may want to go out into the community and pass out information to women about how to do a breast self exam. If you have experienced a painful abortion, miscarriage or infant loss, find support groups online or in your area to help you through that pain. Journaling, painting or other forms of creativity are some ways that you can use your emotions to create something memorable. If you find yourself falling into depression, find a counselor or therapist to talk to. Strive Regardless.
What can you do to help someone else? Be there! Stop posting on facebook when someone’s child is missing that you will keep them in your prayers. During times like this, they need help. Do not ask them what you can do to help. Just do it! Don’t say, “Let me know if you need anything.” They probably won’t. You know what they need.They need someone to bring food, do laundry, go door to door, answer the phone while they rest, watch the other children, etc. Don’t avoid accountability by sending a cyber prayer. Go help! Also, watch what you say. Do more listening than talking but if you do speak, don’t say things like, “Thank God you have another child”, “Stop crying”,
“God wanted him” or “You have to move on”. Hearing those things won’t make them feel any less of a loss at the time. Allow them to grieve. Think about your situation. Could your family make it if you got locked up or died today? Would they have to do some crowd funding to pay for your bail or funeral? Plan that now.That could be one less thing on their plates when you’re gone.
SciHonor Devotion, CD, CPD, CCCE, CMA, CWSP is a contributing writer to the Hood Health Handbook set. She is a Labor Doula, Postpartum Doula, Childbirth Educator, Homebirth Midwife Assistant and Womb Sauna Practitioner who serves women and girls in her community through workshop, ceremony and rites of passage. She is also Co-Owner of Queen’s Quisine: Vegetarian and Vegan Catering Company and can be contacted at www.facebook.com/EarthDoulas / SciHonor17@gmail.com /