Grief is a personal journey, never the same for any two people and as unique as your life and your relationships. To understand grief is to understand it is not one-dimensional; it can be a mix of many emotions all at once. Although loss is an inevitable part of life, how you approach and decide to face this reality can either involve meaningless pain or can promote understanding and wisdom.
In her book “On Death and Dying”, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross described a type of emotional journey among people who are facing death. Her approach has been used in similar terms to describe people’s reaction to loss. Sometimes people grieve losses and think it is over; however, birthdays of loved ones, anniversary dates of when a loss occurred, can sometimes cause grief to reactivate.
The 5 General Stages of Grief include: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.
Typically the first stage, Denial, comes after shock or disbelief. Often Anger occurs as a result of feeling resentful and that the situation is unfair. Often times we ask ourselves. “Why Me?” Anger can also create a desire to blame others.
Guilt is associated with Bargaining. Bargaining is often a promise to change in order to alleviate the guilt. Guilt is a way to make sense of what is happening. Sometimes we try to regain control over the situation in this stage by having self-blame.
Often Anger can be associated with Depression and the fight with our own personal demons. Depression is often the manifestation of feeling cheated on life.
Acceptance is the true use of the lessons learned in life and coming to terms of what is real. Acceptance means we are no longer angry or depressed and no longer overwhelmed by grief.
Grief is normal when we suffer loss. It can be difficult and overwhelming; however it is a natural and logical process. Letting the process occur can lead to healing. Grief therapy can provide that guidance and healing environment.
If you find yourself experiencing any of these stages or feel you have grief that you are struggling to process, this article may be beneficial to you.
Post published by Marilyn Price-Mitchell Ph.D. on Jul 25, 2014 in The Moment of Youth.
If you need assistance in reaching your goals or walking through your journey of Grief and Loss, contact Mosaic Counseling. We have different services to help meet your needs, including therapeutic and support groups.