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Ami Shroyer: How to Cope with Grief and Loss

We are mortal beings passing into this world, and when we lose someone we love, we undergo the process of grieving. 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 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.

Anger is the second stage of grief, and this is an important stage of the healing process. You may feel endless anger because of the pain and you are free to show it by crying or shouting. 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. Then comes the bargaining stage, wherein you promise to do anything just for your loved one to live. 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.

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