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Ami Shroyer: Coping with Grief and Loss

It is really hard to experience losing someone we love, and as mortal beings, we undergo the process of grieving when we lose someone. According to Elisabeth K?bler-Ross, there are five stages of death and dying for those in grief which include 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. The first stage of grief is denial, wherein the world becomes overwhelming and meaningless, leaving someone in the state of shock. There is actually grace in denial because this is how we compensate for our loss, letting and allowing in only as much as we can deal with. Denial will start to fade once you start to feel the real emotions and thoughts of your loss, but you become stronger in facing reality.

Anger is the second stage of grief, and this is an important stage of the healing process. 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. Some people blame other people for the loss of their loved ones such as doctors, family, friends, relatives, and even 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. The third stage is the bargaining stage, and before the loss, a person seems like to do anything to spare their loved one’s life. The bargaining stage involves “what if” statements with so much guilt, lasting for weeks or months. The guilt inside you leads to self-blame, remembering the past and wondering if things got much better when you have done something better.

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. Some people don’t get away with this stage and may lead to total depression, needing medical help. 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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