It seems that there's a pill for everything these days, and in some cases it helps to alleviate pain and suffering. Other times however, there is no chemical or man-made remedy that can even begin to touch the depth of one's anguish.
Please don't misunderstand me. I have friends that were prescribed sedatives immediately following the deaths of spouses, children or other close loved ones. Their pain was so acute that even an hours rest was impossible to achieve without some sort of assistance; and rest, sleep, is the only thing that takes the pain away really.
They were all admonished that this was just a temporary fix, and to only use it for the first few days. And it did help them to get through that paralyzing, grueling initial phase of the loss, but that was just the beginning of a long, difficult journey to recovery-yes recovery.
I myself lost my mother during my first pregnancy, and because of my condition could not partake of any "chemical relief." The blow that her death dealt me was an emotional wound like no other I'd ever experienced up to that point. And like any other wound, I would need to recover from it too. Eventually the scar would be incorporated into my life and I would go on, fully functioning, fully living, but not for a surprisingly long time.
What got me through was people. People and time, their time. Dear friends were at my side as much as was humanly possible for weeks, and even months. We don't, we can't get through the loss of a loved one by ourselves, although we try. Sometimes we have no choice and that's sad. People don't have time to give, but how else can we show we really care?
Weeks and months later when the cards stop coming, the food is long gone and the flowers have died we feel forgotten. Being there, listening, giving our time is what will make the bereaved feel cared for still, and ultimately carry them on to recovery.