Ami Shroyer: 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. Denial helps an individual to survive the tragic event of losing someone, and this stage involves a feeling of emptiness, overwhelming, and meaningless feeling. This is the stage when a person feels numb, and not seeing how he can move on with life. Denial will start to fade once you start to feel the real emotions and thoughts of your loss, but you become stronger in facing reality.
The second stage of the healing process when grieving is anger. 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 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 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.