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Ami Shroyer: Facts and Tips in 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. A person grieving may report more stages, while others may not experience all stages mentioned here, it is because grief is subjective and nature, and it is a unique experience. Denial refers to the state of shock, wherein a person who is grieving experience a world of overwhelming and meaningless atmosphere. With the denial stage, one can find a shield from fear and threat, a nature’s way to get your broken pieces back, and as you begin to accept the reality of your loss, you will start to ask questions, which is also the beginning of the healing process. 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.

The second stage of the healing process when grieving is anger. You can display your anger by crying or shouting on the top of your lungs to release the pain and tension that were built when you were in the denial stage, but be careful being violent because you may harm yourself and other people. You have a lot of questions when it comes to death and dying in the anger stage, and you may also blame people who might have neglected your loved one that resulted to his death, including God. With the pain caused by a loved one’s loss, we may feel deserted and abandoned. Anger can be your anchor to a stronger structure, making a connection from the emptiness of the denial stage to becoming more aware of what is happening around you, so you may show anger to the doctor who last attended your loved one in the hospital or to a relative who did not attend the funeral. It is commonly observe that people who show too much anger are those who really showed a high level of love to their departed loved one. Then comes the bargaining stage, wherein you promise to do anything just for your loved one to live. A person grieving feels guilt and this stage may last for weeks or months. You feel that negotiation is possible, and you keep thinking the things you could have done for 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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