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. When it comes to death and dying, grief has five stages including denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Grief is a unique experience and a subjective feeling, so not all people experience all the stages, and some may report experiencing more stages. Denial helps an individual to survive the tragic event of losing someone, and this stage involves a feeling of emptiness, overwhelming, and meaningless feeling. 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. The denial stage serves as your protection form your inner violent thoughts and emotions, but as you become stronger and ready to face them, denial will start to fade.
The second stage of the healing process when grieving is anger. 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. You feel abandoned and deserted. 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. It is commonly observe that people who show too much anger are those who really showed a high level of love to their 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. It is normal to feel guilty, remembering the past and thinking you should have shown more love and care to your loved one.
The depressive stage seems to last forever, this is accepting the reality that you have lost your loved one and his life will no longer be restored. 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. Once depression is over, you enter the acceptance stage and starting to do daily activities and socialize with other people again.