Trauma and loss

About Grief

Being involved in a disaster can be a traumatic, strongly fearful experience. Also, losing an important person due to a disaster is a great loss experience. When an important person dies in a disaster, they face both a traumatic experience and loss experience at the same time, which can cause confusion and strong pain in survivors.


These reactions manifest themselves in different ways after a disaster. Some survivors find their memories and emotions so intimidating that they wonder if they have lost control and gone crazy. Some other survivors seem to feel that their experience not real and do not show any emotion.


While scenes related to traumatic death are thoughts that the bereaved wish to forget or eliminate from their memories, those people who have died are irreplaceable to them. It is a difficult process to live with those contradictions and sort out their feelings. It takes time for them to feel less pain when remembering the deceased.


However, over time, many of them gradually feel that they have “stayed connected” to the deceased, while feeling less pain. Immediately after bereavement, it can feel like they may suffer forever, but everyone has the power to heal their grief. In many cases, people will be able to start a new life again, though they initially felt like it was beyond their control.


Until that day comes, it is important for the bereaved to be gentle in terms of their own feelings, without blaming themselves. For those who are around the bereaved, it is also important to respect the pace of the bereaved’ recovery and to accompany that process.