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. A person grieving may report more stages, while others may not experience all stages mentioned here, it is because grief is subjective and nature, and 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. There is actually grace in denial because this is how we compensate for our loss, letting and allowing in only as much as we can deal with. As you become stronger, the denial stage will start to fade.
It is acceptable to feel anger after the denial stage, and this is a normal element of the grief’s healing process. You may feel endless anger because of the pain and you are free to show it by crying or shouting. The anger stage may also involve blaming other people, yourself, and even God for losing your loved one, and this is a normal feeling of a person who is in grief. You feel abandoned and deserted. Anger can give you a temporary structure to the denial stage’s nothingness, giving you an anchor, and a bridge to the open sea, and this is evidenced when you start blaming and getting angry to other people. The intensity of anger also reflects the intensity of love to the departed loved one. The bargaining stage involves willingness to give up something just for a loved one’s life to be restored, and this is most especially true for those who are dying. The bargaining stage involves “what if” statements with so much guilt, lasting for weeks or months. You feel that negotiation is possible, and you keep thinking the things you could have done for your loved one.
After the anger and bargaining, you enter the depressive stage, wherein reality is in front of your face and you cannot do anything but be sad and cry for your loss. 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.