Grief and Loss
Grief and Loss
Grief and loss are inevitable parts of life. Dealing with the loss of a loved one, the loss of a relationship or another type of loss can be a very painful experience. Grief is one’s natural response to such loss. Each person grieves differently; there is no wrong or right way to grieve. A licensed professional can help with the grieving process by providing support and helping overcome intense emotions.
What Causes Grief?
Many situations can result in grief. Below, you’ll find a list of the different kind of losses that can lead to sadness, anger and other strong emotional responses. These are just a few examples.
– Death of a spouse or child
– Loss of health
– Loss of financial security
– Serious illness
– Moving to a new home
The Grieving Process
Everyone is unique in the way they grieve. Some people may have no problem showing emotion as a result of loss while others may prefer to bottle up their feelings. There are commonalities, however. Some researchers have developed models to highlight the grieving process. One of the most common models is “The Five Stages of Grief,”developed by famous psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.
This model divides the grieving process into the following parts:
Denial: This first stage of grieving involves denying the reality of the situation. You may think “This can’t really be happening.”During this stage, it’s common to ignore the seriousness of the situation and hide from it.
Anger: Once the magnitude of the situation really sets in, angry feelings can start to emerge. These angry feelings may be directed at peers or even a higher power (“Why me, God?”). Sometimes, the individual may even be angry with him or herself.
Bargaining: When faced with loss, an individual may look for ways to reverse the situation. This can lead to bargaining. Asking to stay friends after a breakup or making a deal with God to avoid suffering are just some ways a person may bargain while grieving.
Depression: Things start to lose meaning to the griever during this stage. Sadness and other intense feelings may overwhelm the individual as they try to cope with the situation. These feelings are a precursor to finally accepting the loss.
Acceptance: At this final stage, the griever comes to terms with the inevitability of the situation. Reaching this stage does not mean that a person thinks “everything will be all right.”This stage is more about accepting that this new reality after a loss is now the permanent reality.