How to Handle the Grieving Process
What are the Five Stages of Grief?
Grieving is not a straight-forward process. There are many layers to loss.
- Denial and isolation. Following a loss, it can be difficult to accept the reality of what has happened. You may feel numb, have trouble believing that the loss is real, and deny this new truth of your life. Isolation and denial act as a buffer to protect you the initial shock.
- Anger. It can be hard not to lay blame to people who are connected to the events immediately prior to your loss. You may find you are angry with yourself, others, or even your faith. It might even feel like you are angry at everything sometimes. These emotions in particular are best addressed directly. Know that this response is common. Don’t stifle these feelings because you feel they are unwarranted, but don’t let them, or harsh, grief triggered judgements, overcome you.
- Bargaining. At this point your reasonable self is trying to make some semblance of what you have been through and your mind will begin to bargain in order to regain some control.
- Depression. There are two types of depression people face when handling a death. The first is a practical outlook on things such as costs and planning and all the other things that go into funeral planning. The second type is slightly more subtle and in an intimate sense, more private. It is our quiet preparation to separate from and wish our loved one a farewell.
- Acceptance. Hopefully, eventually, you will be able to see this time in your life from a different perspective. This acceptance will allow you to appropriately honour the lives of those you have lost. This more secure perspective will allow you to reach out to others close to you also dealing with this loss, and you can support them as they have supported you.
Know Where You Can Turn To
Although being a highly personal journey, grief does not necessarily need to be faced alone. A grief counsellor can guide you through it or merely act as the ear that you need to listen. Never forget to remind yourself that you are merely a human being and everything you are feeling, you are allowed to feel.