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Ami Shroyer: How to Cope 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. The five stages of grief for death and dying include 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. The denial stage serves as your protection form your inner violent thoughts and emotions, but as you become stronger and ready to face them, denial will start to fade.

Anger is the second stage of grief, and this is an important stage of the 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. The anger stage may also involve blaming other people, yourself, and even God for losing your loved one, and this is a normal feeling of a person who is in grief. We are living in a society that fears anger, so we feel deserted, alone and abandoned. 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. A person grieving feels guilt and this stage may last for weeks or months. It is normal to feel guilty, remembering the past and thinking you should have shown more love and care to your loved one.

After the anger and bargaining, you enter the depressive stage, wherein reality is in front of your face and you cannot do anything but be sad and cry for your loss. While there are people who get too depressed, this is not a sign of mental illness, it is a normal response to a great loss. 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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