Grief and How to Deal with Loss
Learn to Grieve
Shakespeare once said; "Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break."
When we experience the loss of someone that we love, it leaves us as empty and hollow nothings, lost with no road to take.
Grief is something that everyone has or will feel at some stage of their lives and it is so important to learn to grieve so that life can continue on and you can find yourself in some calm after the storm.
Learn to grieve because you owe it to yourself, your family and the person that has been lost to do so.
There are many stages of grief and working through each one and identifying what they are is a healthy decision to ensure that you can have a life after a death.
There are five stages of mourning and grief, felt by everyone throughout the world. It is a normal response to the loss of someone close to you and people grieve in many different ways and the time spent grieving can be different for everyone.
We move through the stages in no particular order and often, most people do not get to the final stage due to the lack of time and sometimes lack of patience from others.
Denial Stage 1 in Grieving
It is a natural response for the human body to have a defence mechanism that will react to the bad and tragic news of someone's death.
We can have a mental block that tells us the news is not true and it does not allow it to sink in. Everything becomes meaningless and nothing makes any sense.
Trying to rationalise or block the news is normal and expected.
Denial is a temporary response to help us cope with the gushes of pain and for many isolation and keeping still and alone is also a way for them to hide and soak in the information.
Some of us will respond as soon as the word gets out but other's will be consumed with questions and possibilities that it could not really be something that is true.
How do you cope with loss?
Anger - The 2nd Stage of Grief
Once the isolation and denial is over, the next reaction is anger.
The reality begins to sink in and the fact that we are not ready to accept it, being too soon or being taken by surprise is a reason for the anger.
The anger is towards the person that is dying or has passed away, and the resentment is due to the fact that they have caused so much pain and suffering to those that are left behind.
Naturally we know that it is not their fault and feelings of guilt come into play which makes anger even worse.
Doctors or people who were there in the last few minutes are also targets for anger as they are made to feel as if they could have done something to stop it from happening.
Anger can last for a while and anyone in the path, whether it is a stranger a close friend or loved one will feel the wrath of anger as the person struggles to cope with their grief.
5 Stages of Grief
Grief is a normal reaction and is a part of the process when we suffer a loss.
There are five stages of grief;
Some people cannot take the time to grieve causing a ripple effect, possibly years later by something or someone that has triggered the buried pain
Stage 3 - The Plea Bargain
People will do anything in their power to keep those that they love around forever and when there is a fatal illness or prolonged suffering, we will do anything and try everything to prolong the inevitable.
Feeling vulnerable and helpless when losing someone is human nature and when feeling weak and powerless we tend to offer ourselves in place of the one's we love just as a milder defence mechanism.
How to Cope with Grief in Each Stage
Nothing makes sense
Guilt for being angry with loss
Wanting to trade places
Not able to cope with pain
Finally able to speak about loss
Everything is questionable
Pain and suffering causes anger
begging for help
Unable to let go and say goodbye
Able to let go and come to terms
Allow one to go through this
Get angry, get mad and release
Pray and find Faith
Support and time
Inner peace will bring strength
How to Cope with Grief
Stage 4 - Depression in Grieving
Depression can last for a long time if one cannot come to terms with the loss. Family and friends who are able to get near can help ease the pain and ensure that we can move forward.
For some the depression is about the cost of the funeral, the responsibility of having to take care of the ones left behind and for others it is about taking some time to let go, separate and have to say goodbye.
These people just simply need a hug and someone to talk to.
People who cannot come to terms with saying goodbye tend to suffer depression for longer as they regret what was never said or done, they fear losing the remainder of their loved ones and they simply cannot move forward with their lives.
Regret, sorrow and fear bring these people down and take them into a dark place.
This is the final stage of grief and for some it never takes place. Time heals but we do not always have that luxury.
There are often times where we feel that we need to scream and shout and cry our hearts out but there is no space, place or time to do so.
It is extremely important to be able to let it out and let go so that we can finally come to terms with the loss and push the grief aside by accepting that the ones we love are not returning.
Some people might never get through the anger or the other stages of grief which could lead to years of depression and sadness in a hollow and empty life.
The final stage is acceptance, which means that we need to say goodbye and allow ourselves to feel sad, allow ourselves to cry and to express our feelings at all times.
Finding inner peace is important in the last stage as this will allow for a new beginning and a healthy road ahead for those that are left behind.
Coping with loss is different for everyone and at the end of it all, inner peace is necessary.
How to Help Someone Grieve
The best thing that you could do for someone who has suffered a loss is to be supportive in every way possible but allow them space to be alone.
Ensure that they are going through the stages and if you find that they are stuck in denial then it is at some stage, time to let it out so that they can find peace one day.
People need to talk about how they feel and they eventually will be able to do that.
They also need to cry and let it out as holding it all in can lead to problems further down the line where they might never be able to come to terms with the loss.
Should they be depressed, then that is okay for a brief time but it is not healthy to allow it to continue for too long.
Be there when they need you but give them space and time to think and cry.
Sometimes when someone passes away it is in the middle of a crisis or a busy schedule and there is no time to have the emotions associated with the stages of grief.
A person can suppress their emotions and continue on with life until something triggers their pain. This can happen years later and it will start with anger.
The anger might get taken out on the person closest to them or it could be reflected onto others with no understanding of what is to be expected.
The anger could be triggered because they blame their closest ally for not being able to do anything and in the case of a stepparent, it could be guilt and anger for taking the place of a spouse.
The hatred and anger felt can be hurtful and it can be prolonged for many months or even years if it is not dealt with.
The reminder of a child that looks just like her mom or a son that looks like a father can trigger anger and the beginning of the grieving process.
It is important and crucial to speak about it and let the emotions flow.
For some talking about it is not an option as they fear that their partner or friend will not understand or will not care.
Suppressing emotions and stopping the grieving process will only allow for a time bomb down the line.
Let the mourner mourn and a good way for them to come to terms with the loss finally, is to write a letter to the deceased, explaining their anger or expressing all their emotions.
This will be a release for the mourner and it will help them come to terms with what has happened.
If there are memories or objects that have been opened up, perhaps it is time to sit down and go through them, allowing the words to flow and the supressed memories to come out.
Once they have written a letter and you have gone through the boxes of photo's or trinkets then it will enable one to continue with the process and find some inner peace after a stormy time.