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Grief as you age

Death is one of the most avoided topics for man. More often the fear is associated with ceasing to exist, sickness, or some form of accident. Still, it is one thing that is inevitable. Each of us, in one way or another, will come to that point in our lives.

In the subject of death, we will be accompanied by feelings of grief. Grief, as described by the Merriam Webster, is a deep sadness caused by death. In other words, it is what we feel when we lose a loved one.

Now, there is a misconception that grief varies with age when one is much older handling grief becomes much easier. After all, that older person may have already lost so many of his/her loved ones that when it happens again, he/she can face it in a much better way. But is it really the case? Here are some reasons why this thinking must be changed:

  • Abundance of experiences

Older people have accumulated more moments, and we are aware that when we lose someone, it is those moments that we hold on to. Since they have a lot of experiences, they have a lot more to remember, and a lot more to let go of.

  • Facing the reality of ending up alone

As mentioned before, older people, most of the time, lose more people as time goes by. They witness the passing of friends, family, and other acquaintances. At a certain instance, they might painfully stop and think, “How many deaths will I still have to go through? Will I be the last one to live? Am I ending up all alone?”

  • They may not know to whom or where to go

Since they keep losing individuals they love, older people may not know where they could run for help or support, especially at a certain moment when the person that they lose is the one that they confide in during times of loss.

  • The pain may accumulate

The thing about losing people we love is the grief unfolds through the years, and no matter how much time passes, most of us do not completely get over it. Due to the number of loved ones that an older person may lose as he/she ages, there is a possibility that the pain of one death will overlap with that of another.

  • They might be the only ones left to remember

Each of us, especially older people, holds valuable stories inside. As the people they love passes to the other side, older individuals might come to the thinking that they do not have anyone remaining to share these stories with. They might advance to the realization that these stories will stop with them.

All in all, we have to understand that although grief has no specific standard and it may depend from person to person, more often than not, older people have it harder when it comes to facing it. Dismissing their grief by the idea that they are more honed equates to us dismissing what we could to do to help them. Instead of doing such, we must learn the importance of reaching out to them and making them know and feel that they are not, and will never be alone.


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