Every time that I am hit with the overwhelming power of grief, I forget that there are stages. The gives all of us the power to give ourselves permission to grief and not hold it in. This is also good for those who want to help their loved one who is in pain.
Here are the crib notes:
- Denial and Isolation. This stage makes us shut the outside world. It is hard to do simple things like go to the grocery store in fear of running into someone and have to talk.
- Anger. When denial fades away our defense mechanism takes over. Anger is a magnification of our own pain that can be aimed at those who still have their loved ones, strangers and other loved ones. Give the one in pain time and don’t fight back in anger.
- Bargaining. This is the ‘what if’ part that can be the hardest to get out of. ‘What if’ is normal. The best thing to do is write out your questions and observations to talk to a grief counselor.
- Depression. This is the slow uphill peak that envelopes you in sadness and regret. Pay attention to yourself or your surroundings if anyone has thoughts of suicide. Journal your pain. Ask for help.
- Acceptance. This is the stage that may never come for some living with grief. The dark and awful truth is that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, your loved one is gone. They will be with you in your heart and memoires forever.
As I said, with my many losses, I forget to allow myself to grieve. It also helps if those around you know these stages and can help nurture your feelings.
I wish you the best support. And you can always connect here with me online or many others who have lived through their hard grief.