Death of a loved one from alcohol
When a friend or family member dies from liver failure through drinking, it adds yet another dimension to the grief and loss that would be there anyway.
Friends and family will want that person to be remembered for who they were, what they achieved and any talents they had. Most of all there can be a desperate need when having to let people know about the death, to not have judgement or a label immediately placed upon the deceased, with their death being seen on some level as self-inflicted.
Because of this, more often than not the cause of death will be left unsaid, which in itself can add stress to the situation.
For the people closest to the situation, this cause of death can actually feel more tragic, not less. Especially when it feels as if the person has died far too young. It adds another level to the sadness which can be very difficult to verbalise, except perhaps to anyone else who is closely involved. Even then so much grief can go unspoken, with the time being used to support and help with arrangements.
When someone mentions their loss, the most likely question to be asked, if any, will be along the lines of 'what happened?' or 'had they been ill?' It's very unlikely to be 'what were they like?' and yet actually for those left behind this can be the strongest feelings that they are dealing with at this time. More often than not very little is said, for fear of upsetting those dealing with the loss.
It's important for those left behind to understand that whatever the circumstances in which they have lost their friend or family member, that this doesn't change the loss that they are going through, that their feelings of grief and sadness are just as valid, just as real and just as worthy of being heard.
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About Isabel Fulcher
I work in Private Practice and am passionate about the benefits and healing properties of Talking Therapies, both because of my own experiences and all my one-to one client work.