Ami Shroyer: Coping with Grief and Loss
It is really hard to experience losing someone we love, and as mortal beings, we undergo the process of grieving when we lose someone. According to Elisabeth K?bler-Ross, there are five stages of death and dying for those in grief which include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Remember that not all people in grief experience the five stages, there are some who will report more stages, and others have their own set of grieving stages because it is a unique experience. Denial refers to the state of shock, wherein a person who is grieving experience a world of overwhelming and meaningless atmosphere. With the denial stage, one can find a shield from fear and threat, a nature’s way to get your broken pieces back, and as you begin to accept the reality of your loss, you will start to ask questions, which is also the beginning of the healing process. Denial will start to fade once you start to feel the real emotions and thoughts of your loss, but you become stronger in facing reality.
It is acceptable to feel anger after the denial stage, and this is a normal element of the grief’s healing process. You can display your anger by crying or shouting on the top of your lungs to release the pain and tension that were built when you were in the denial stage, but be careful being violent because you may harm yourself and other people. Some people blame other people for the loss of their loved ones such as doctors, family, friends, relatives, and even God. With the pain caused by a loved one’s loss, we may feel deserted and abandoned. Anger can be your anchor to a stronger structure, making a connection from the emptiness of the denial stage to becoming more aware of what is happening around you, so you may show anger to the doctor who last attended your loved one in the hospital or to a relative who did not attend the funeral. The intensity of anger also reflects the intensity of love to the departed loved one. The third stage is the bargaining stage, and before the loss, a person seems like to do anything to spare their loved one’s life. A person grieving feels guilt and this stage may last for weeks or months. The guilt inside you leads to self-blame, remembering the past and wondering if things got much better when you have done something better.
The most painful part is the depressive stage, wherein you feel the impact of reality that you no longer have the person you were just talking to before, and this is pure sadness and loneliness that may seem to last forever. While there are some people who become stuck in the depressive stage, you have to understand that this is a normal response of a person who is greatly grieving. A person may retract completely from his social circle in the depressive stage, but as soon as he talks about it and begins to socialize again, a grieving person starts to enter the acceptance stage.