Surviving the Loss of a Loved One by Psychic Stasch

Published Date 10/28/2019
Category: Loss & Grieving



You don't have to be alone while grieving the loss of a loved one.

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Death comes as a shock, even when anticipated, and there’s no way to fully prepare. Some handle loss quickly, some need time to cope, and others don’t feel the full impact until after the loss has transpired. The finality is what makes it difficult to accept. There’s no “correct” way to feel grief.  

Fortunately, understanding the progression of grief can make it more manageable. 

The Classic Stages of Grief
 
  1. Denial is often the first phase. You may be aware, but there could be a part of you that has not accepted that the end is near.  You may even hold onto hope that perhaps this is not going to happen or it’s a mistake.  Overwhelmingly negative experiences can be difficult to absorbed immediately. 
  2. Anger arrives when you see the inequity of loss or feel powerless. It’s that lack of control, the arbitrary nature of loss, that can be upsetting to the point of rage. Anger may not take obvious external forms, but it may be present. 
  3. Bargaining begins when you attempt to set up some type of “deal” that, if honored, will alter the course of events. It can take the form of promising to donate time and money to a noble cause. It can be offering to be a better spouse, friend, or even person, in hopes that such a deal will stop loss. It’s an attempt to regain control after feeling powerless.  
  4. Depression enters when the realization comes that, irrespective of what you say, do, feel, think or promise, the loss is here to stay. This is when the pain is at its most severe. You may reminisce about the past and feel sorrow knowing that there will be no future memories.  You are realizing that what you had has disappeared forever.  
  5. Acceptance is the last phase, when you have emotionally and intellectually dealt with what has happened and you’re ready to move forward with living.  It doesn’t mean you forget, or even stop caring, but that you’re able to look back without experiencing devastating anguish. You can know that you have dealt with loss successfully.  
Everyone may not experience every stage in this order.  Some may even go from anger to acceptance.  Awareness of the phases of grief can offer some comfort in knowing what to expect. 

Why Does Grief Persist for So Long? 
While it may sound counter-intuitive, one reason why grief can persist for months, even years, is that we do not allow ourselves to feel loss.  To avoid feeling bad, we could be postponing a phase of grief we need to experience. When you allow yourself to fully feel an emotion this powerful and literally “let it out,” the release can be healthy. Repressing grief is not only unhealthy, it can prolong the process.  

Managing Grief 
Experiencing hurt can propel the suffering into isolation so it’s important to have support. This could just be having someone listen to you or attending a support group where you’re with others experiencing grief. It helps knowing you’re not alone.   

One important note: If grief goes on for months at a time with no change, it may be time to seek medical and psychiatric help.  Loss can be a catalyst for other issues to emerge.  Do not assume that grief means you must lead a new life of discomfort.  One can learn to live with loss without living in agony. 
 

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