Managing the loss of a loved one

Can we talk about the loss?
Information and communication, key aspects

Grief is a process that all people experience at some point in our lives, whether due to the loss of a loved one, a partner, a job, among others. It is that process that allows us to accept, integrate and rebuild our life from that loss we have experienced.

It is important to be able to work through grief and accept the feelings associated with it. When we suffer a loss, the person must have access to the information, it must be clear, direct and simple. Communication and the expression of emotions must be facilitated at all times and everyone close to them must participate. When it comes to the elderly and / or children, sometimes it is considered that it is better to protect and not give them the information about what happened, but by denying that information we make the grieving process not able to begin for them and it can be complicated in the future.

The COVID-19 situation has changed the rules we were used to. In some situations, we cannot be close to the person at the time of death or we cannot get together with our family and friends and say the goodbye that we thought to our loved ones. This has made communication even more important, giving information to those people that we do have close and careful, making the people we consider most vulnerable (children, elderly people …) also aware of the situation experienced .

If we achieve this fluid communication about the illness or death of the person, we will create a climate of trust where all people will develop a role in the elaboration of that loss. We will prevent death from occurring abruptly, since we will have prepared everyone for that moment, including the elderly and / or children of the family.

This climate of trust and sincerity will help us to have more resources when we have to face the different stages of grief.

Maria Garreta, Collegiate Psychologist No. 21887


There are several authors who have developed different classifications of the stages of grief.

Stages of the Grief (Payàs, 2014):

  • Trauma
  • Shock
  • Protection-Denial
  • Integration
  • Connection
  • Increase
  • Transformation

Not all people experience the initial state of shock, it will depend on how death and / or the disease process have been.

There are also deaths that do not require protection strategies, if the death was anticipated and expected or the person had already faced other losses before. All losses must go through an integration stage and a growth stage that reflect the end of the process.