Losing someone or something is never easy despite it being a natural part of life. Grieving is a very normal part of the human experience. It is the only way believed to help one heal and come in to terms with the loss. Grieving is one of the healing stages that is usually felt before someone can completely accept a loss. Normally when the term grief is mentioned, death is the main thing that pops in to mind. However, loss can be experienced in many different aspects of life. These are mostly things that are of extreme importance; jobs, relationships, property, pets, pregnancy, friendship or whatever one once held dear and had high hopes for. One can also grieve for a friend’s misfortune.
When loss occurs in our lives, we need to completely grieve in order to release it and continue with our lives. Each person may grieve differently so there is no right or wrong way for the process. You need to give yourself time to completely come in terms with your loss, do not rush yourself. Ignoring the problem also will not get rid of the pain and heart ache.
Five Stages of Grief
There are five main steps that someone is likely to undergo as they grieve.
This is whereby you are in complete denial that the loss has happened to you. You might even try to repackage the loss in a more suitable way that will make the painful reality easier for you to come to terms with. In the case of the death of a loved one, a person might try to deny the loss by making themselves believe that the deceased has just taken a trip and will return after a while. This is not encouraged because the longer you lie to yourself the harder and longer the healing process will be. You need to accept all the facts related to the loss, no matter how difficult they are. Shock can also prolong the stage of denial.
This is also a common emotion that is related to grieving. After the reality of the loss sets in, and the realization that something may be gone forever, feelings of anger may manifest. Feelings of being cheated by life and how harsh and unfair life can be at times can be overwhelming and frustrating. Gradual understanding and acceptance that nothing is permanent in this world and that losing people and things we treasure is part of life will hopefully replace the anger over time. Let go of or deal with the anger and accept that it is not yours or any other person’s fault that the loss occurred.
In this stage, you would find yourself trying to find ways to substitute the loss or trying to negotiate to find a way out. No matter what you do, nothing will change the fact that the loss has occurred.
This is a very common stage where some signs of depression may present themselves. During this stage, it can be extremely helpful to find a support group of people you think would understand your pain or those that have gone through such an experience. Prolonged bouts of depression should not be ignored and the help of a licensed mental health professional should be attained. Expressing one’s feelings and emotions in a supportive setting can be extremely beneficial to anyone trying to deal with a severe loss. It will help you deal with depression better compared to being alone.
This is the final stage of grieving. This shows that you have come to terms with the loss, accepted it and is willing to move on with your life. It will leave you feeling lighter and more at peace within. After this, you are free and in a better position to move on with your life. You can positively live with loss, blend it in as part of who you are and still live a normal life.
There comes a time in everyone’s life where they find themselves having to deal with grief over people and things they have lost. However, finding a strong support system might help you better deal with the pain. This could be from; friends and family, a support group, a professional counselor or even turn to your faith.
All these ways will help you feel more love, strength and support which will go along way to help in the grieving process.
Being alone and bottling things is usually counterproductive and may only prolong the intense emotions of sadness associated with the loss. Usually, the bigger the loss the more profound the sense of grief feels, but even slightly minor losses can lead to a depressed mood. It is important to be aware of how something affects how you feel and should be addressed if it starts to interfere with everyday life activities.
Some people like to stay active to fight through the grief. House work, exercise, family time can all help get you through this. While using something like a robot vacuum cleaner may seem easier, putting in the work with a regular vacuum can make a bigger difference on how you feel. A long walk with the kids or dog can have a big impact as well.
Grief is a natural part of being human, but knowing what to expect, how to work towards acceptance and how to deal with all the emotions involved can help speed up the process.