Everyone has to deal with grief at some point in their life. It could be from the loss of a loved one, a divorce or end of a close relationship, or even the loss of a house or job. Whatever it is that you have lost, it takes time to get over that loss and everyone grieves in their own way. However, most of us go through seven common stages of grief after a loss. You may only go through a few of them or you may even go through all of them and then go through a few over again. Everyone is different and every situation is different as well.
Just Ignore It and It Will Go Away
Many people try to ignore the grief or just pretend like it does not bother them. Especially men. Many men have been taught that you have to be tough and not show your feelings, especially sadness. In fact, a lot of guys think that crying or showing sadness makes you seem weak. That is absolutely the opposite of the truth. Being strong enough to share your feelings and show your grief makes you a stronger person. Ignoring it will not make it go away. In fact, it will usually make it worse.
The Stages of Grief
The stages of grief vary depending on who you are talking to but the most common are the seven stages. Of course, you may only go through a few of them or you may go through one of them over and over again. It just depends on you and your situation. It is important to note that if you are feeling so sad that you are considering harming yourself or someone else, you should seek professional help immediately. Here are the seven stages of grief:
At first, you are just paralyzed by shock. You may just not believe it happened or deny that the loss occurred. In the case of the death of a loved one, you may just pretend that they are not dead and that it must have been a mistake. This works well for someone who lives far away or someone you do not talk to every day. It is easier to pretend that the person is still alive and well than it is to accept their loss.
You will get mad at the world, at God, at the person who told you the bad news, or just anyone who looks at you. In fact, you may even be mad at the person you lost. It may be that you blame the hospital, doctor, or whoever was taking care of your loved one. Even if you have no reason to be mad at anyone, it is just a way of managing your own pain and anger.
At this point, you may be praying to your higher power and saying that you will do anything to get this person back. You may offer to trade your life for theirs. Some people will even believe that if they are really good and nice to everyone, that their loved one will be brought back to them. changingminds.org/disciplines/change_management/kubler_ross/kubler_ross.htm may come before anger or you may bounce back and forth between these as well as pain. Until you finally give up and let in the pain.
Once you realize that nothing you can do will bring them back, you will feel the pain. It is about now that you will start to feel the sadness of losing that person and the loneliness that comes from losing someone you really care about and will miss. You may feel guilty for living when your loved one died or because you could not save them.
After you have been feeling this pain and sadness for such a long time, you may wake up one day and realize that life goes on and that you are going to be okay. Most people start feeling a little better each day, not even realizing that it is happening. It is a natural reaction to healing. Your heart is healing. Then you see a photo or think of something your loved one did or said, and it all comes rushing back to you.
Working It Out
You are finally realizing that you have to get up and move on. Maybe it is time to start going back to work, hanging out with your friends again or learning how to smile. Those friends and family members who have been bugging you and trying to make you feel better may actually start to make you feel a little better. You are working things out.
Accepting the Loss
About the time you start getting back to normal, you realize that you have accepted the loss and that you are moving on. You may not even realize that it is happening because it is so gradual. It is not that you are getting over the pain. The pain is not going away. You are just learning to live with it and move on with life. Of course, there will be bad days or even bad weeks when you go back to stage three or four, maybe even stage one. But you are healing and getting on with your life as it should be.
However, if you are having trouble getting through the stages of grief or you just cannot accept the loss, you may need to speak to a professional. There are online grief counselors trained and experienced in helping those having a hard time getting through the grieving process. You do not need an appointment and you can talk to them from the comfort of your own home. When you are ready, give them a call.
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