The Reason Why Can't We Say Goodbye?

Some people say that life is made by two certainties: the beginning and the end. And even knowing that one day we will all leave and be left, the time it arrives for someone beloved, we feel lost. From there, how each one deals with the situation is something unique and private.

                                                                                      A quote about saying goodbye.                 Photo: Google Images

John Bowlby, a psychiatrist and English psychoanalyst, a reference among scholars of the subject, has created a theory about the four stages of mourning:

1. Shock and numbness, because it is hard to believe that this is happening and therefore the pain does not yet exist

2. Yearning and searching for the lost figure, which generates discouragement and weeping

3. The phase of disorganization and despair, where the pain is deeply felt

4. And, finally, the reorganization

                                                                                                            Four stages of mourning          Photo: WYG.

When we bring this theory into our reality, we realize that one of the main elements for this count is the individual time, that which each counts in its own way.

By interviewing a few people and hearing about their losses, we could see how a loss can take months or years to really be felt in all its complexity. But after all, why do we take so long to accept a loss?

According to psychologist Josette Zambelli, there are a number of factors. One of them is: the moment of mourning, when we realize that we are impotent about certain things, which generates enormous frustration, guilt and anguish. After all, in many cases death permanently takes chances to solve situations.                                                                                          

At first, denial is instantaneous. The human being, with its feeling of controling even the natural causes, refuses to believe that lost is a process of the universe. But not all losses happen when we expect them to happen, and, unfortunately, some people leave our lives when we least expect, in a second of carelessness or no apparent reason.

Dr. Zambelli also believes that our culture influences the acceptance of death. An example of this is that the Day of the Dead is celebrated in Brazil only with comings and goings to visit the people who have already left.

                                                                                      Day of the dead being celebrated in Mexico        Photo: Toronto4kids

In Mexico, this day is a festival considered a cultural heritage, according to Unesco. People fancy themselves, play, there are food and beverages and what is not in lack is fun. And in Moscow, the funeral day is often celebrated in churches, but wearing colorful clothes (black is forbidden on that day) and singing joyous songs. The fact is that, regardless of the culture, mourning is felt by all (there are several reports, including animals that changed their behavior after the owner died).

However, how each one deals with this sadness varies between places, religion, culture and the acceptance of the situation. But the ideal is that, if there is too much trouble dealing with the loss, it can be a good idea look out for a psychologist. Sharing distress and bad days will surely help you finding solace within yourself. And even death being a certainty that we will never be ready to face, life of those who remained goes on, with good and bad days that need to be lived, one at a time. We bear the pain and longing of those who once experienced the beginning and survived the end.

Article: Aline e Giulia Poltronieri

Edition: Isabelle Caldeira