Is it normal for someone who has lost their beloved to pretend that they still exist and not accept that they are gone?
Last Updated: 06/08/2021 at 6:26am
Paola Giordani, Psychoanalyst
I have helped and am helping people cope with loss, divorce, anguish and parenting. Depression is also a major issue that comes up.
Top Rated Answers
This happens a lot with people who are grieving. While acceptance of a loss is vital for closure, everything comes at its own time. If it gives you some comfort to pretend they are still there, what is the harm in doing that? I had a dog who died 5 years ago. Sometimes I tell her picture that she was a "good dog." Why? I don't know, but it makes me feel better, so i do it.
They aren't gone. They're always with you in spirit. They watch you grow, they watch you struggle, they see your failures and your successes. They'll always be by your side.
There is a grieving process, but there isn't one "normal" accepted route through that process, as it is different for everyone. If the death is recent, shock can make people behave in ways that seem strange to those who are outside looking in. As for pretending the deceased still exist, it's not uncommon to write letters and even hold one-sided conversations with those who are lost, especially if their death was unexpected or sudden. For those who are elderly, things are different again, and they may always keep "that" chair, as if their other half has just popped out to the loo. Grief counselling can help with all of this. If a person has become adamant that their lost loved one is still around physically: for instance insisting that they are just in the kitchen, or have gone to the shop, it may well be that they need some help in accepting their loss. As always, this should be broached carefully and in a calm manner. On the whole, the most important thing is that a person has space and understanding to grieve in a way that is appropriate for them, and has the freedom to feel all of the emotions involved in their loved one's passing. In the UK, you may find cruse.org.uk helpful.
Yes! Denial is a normal stage of healthy grief/mourning. The person is still alive in your soul, so it can definitely feel as though he or she is still with you.
As the comedian Patsy Clairmont once pointed out, normal is just a setting on your dryer.
There is no pain bigger than Losing Someone you love! And the toughest thing to do is To FORGET someone Who gave you so much to REMEMBER! But no matter what its not normal to pretend that the person who is no more exists.. as some point we have to let go.. As long as we will hold on to it.. the longer the suffering will continue . Keep the person in your Heart and always remember Him/Her by their good memories , at the same time move on with you life . as the person who left you would have wanted you to be Happy and successfull :)
Yes, acceptance is a part of the grieving process and everyone spends their own amount of time grieving over a loss. If you are not to this point yet, that's okay! Take your time and remember that you are not alone.
It is normal in the first stages after death when shock can be present or difficulty accepting a beloved pet is gone. Pretending is a tool to overcome becoming overwhelmed. It's properties can actually SAVE a person who can't deal with the loss. However, it is also unhealthy to be using imagery when enough time has passed to start the grieving and moving on process. In order to continue a healthy lifestyle; grieving, facing guilt, accepting and other processes need to be faced. Trust the Cat Lady on this one. I have lost wonderful fur babies and still have a cry sometimes after 10 years. I know that the 6 I have aren't going to be the 6 Musketeers soon because of age. This isn't a textbook answer. It comes from the heart and from experience. Best wishes to all who have loved and lost a pet!
Speaking from experience, I believe so. My mother has been gone for 7 years and I still talk to her and swear I see her places. I always think this is a dream and I'll wake up on her lap or something.
Everyone deals with grief differently. It's important to understand that grief is not a 'one size fits all' when it manifests following the loss of a loved one. It can appear by seemingly not appearing (when one seems cold and withdrawn instead of openly sorrowful) or by appearing in extremes. One must figure out whether they are 'pretending' the person still exists because they actually believe it to be so (a delusion that may require professional help) or whether it simply serves as a way to comfort them (that is, they are aware the person is gone but prefer to pretend they are not). Everyone will comfort themselves differently, but if it persists or begins manifesting as denial, professional help may be required. So to answer the question, nothing specific about grief is abnormal, really, so the answer is yes, that it is normal for some to react that way. But that does not mean professional help shouldn't be sought or even required.
Yes, it is perfectly normal. But, that may require therapy if it goes on too long. Denial is a stage in grief. It depends on how severe the denial is. But please continue to talk about it and I am sorry for your loss. Hope this helps. :)
From my experience, this isn't normal. Everyone grieves and mourns differently, but they do have to accept that the person is gone.
no its just shocked and have trauma experience. it will take time to heal. you need to accept it and move on in your life. life goes but everyone will taste death we never know when. we are all here for some reason so just move on with your life. nothing is permanent!
that is very normal, but we can't be forever in that situation, you need to get through and continue live, losing someone that you love not meant you ruin your live, continue your dream and keep that person in your heart.
to a certain degree, yes, i think it’s normal. pretending they’re still there could be used as a coping mechanism. losing someone you love can put immense strain on the person closest to the deceased and the support system that would’ve been present pre-passing on. but there should come a time where the individual feels comfortable to let go. thus, it is vital that the individual who lost their beloved should let go when they feels comfortable. respecting their boundaries and coping mechanisms are vital in helping them feel loved and supported which inevitably, makes the healing process a lot more bearable.
it is normal as that is one of the stages of grief but eventually you will need to move on. you can always move on and not forget them
Yes and no, but all I can say is try to keep all the Memories you had with that person and at the same time move on with your life because if you just remembered all the memories you had, it is going to affect your life so try to move on and always keep that person in your heart
It's a common occurrence, however it's not healthy. Eventually we all need to let go, and move on with our lives, it's what they would have wanted. This may be due to shock or immense grief, sometimes people need more support than others, or else they'll find it difficult to cope.
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A lot of times we might pretend they are still living and around, because we are unable to cope with the loss. This is totally normal, losing someone you love isn't always easy. I suggest talking to a close friend or therapist, and discuss your recent loss - and find ways to cope with it.
Yes to a point. There is general anxieties about them coming back. The typical "miracle dream" but to not accept it and move on can be very unhealthy in the long run. Grief is different for all and you can't rush someone. Just support through all these things that happened. Ride the wave together and help the grieving person stay afloat when needed.
Yes, definitely. The five stages of grief don't necessarily occur in that order or at all but a common reaction is denial. It is natural. It is also really healthy to talk to a good grief counsellor because often we need help to process something so overwhelming.
I can't tell if this feeling of pretending that this person still exists and not accepting that it's gone is normal or not. What I can say is that grief is a natural process, resulting from the formation and breaking of emotional bonds, and that occurs all the time in an individual's life. It is part of human development and, despite being a universal experience, it is experienced and lived in a very private and subjective way. THE PHASES OF GRIEF. There are key moments during the loss process: SHOCK: We experience numbness, an initial reaction to loss, when there may be difficulty in perceiving emotions. There is no set duration for this period, it can last hours or days. DENIAL: it is common to have a period of denying the loss, demonstrating a certain resistance to the real facts and avoiding thinking and talking about the subject. DISORGANIZATION AND DESPAIR: it is a moment lived after the end of denial, when reality is accepted and a feeling of uncertainty is established. REORGANIZATION AND ELABORATION OF THE LOSS: it's a comeback, the time to 'put the house in order' and rebuild concepts to start over. These are just some of the feelings experienced by those who experience grief. THE LOVED PERSON DIES AND WE NEED TO BE REBORN. Respect your time, your limits and move forward, albeit slowly. This is the most important rule for anyone facing loss. “Grieving is painful, yes. It takes patience to adapt to the new reality and deal with it. It is essential to recognize your needs and limits, and experience this process in a respectful way with yourself. Sharing and comforting your pain with people close to you, with whom you feel welcomed and at ease, can be a good strategy to get through this difficult time.
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