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Ami Shroyer: Facts and Tips in Coping 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. When it comes to death and dying, grief has five stages including 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. The first stage of grief is denial, wherein the world becomes overwhelming and meaningless, leaving someone in the state of shock. 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. 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. Anger results to crying, shouting, and physically harming yourself and others, and this is a normal stage of the healing process, but you must be careful hurting yourself and other people with your seemingly limitless anger. Some people blame other people for the loss of their loved ones such as doctors, family, friends, relatives, and even God. We are living in a society that fears anger, so we feel deserted, alone and abandoned. 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. The anger stage shows how intensity your love is to your 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. 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 depressive stage seems to last forever, this is accepting the reality that you have lost your loved one and his life will no longer be restored. 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. Once depression is over, you enter the acceptance stage and starting to do daily activities and socialize with other people again.

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