– By Barbara Vehabovic
Everyone experiences some form of loss throughout their lifespan. Whether it is the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, dealing with a terminal illness, loss of a relationship, loss of a pet, or loss of identity, grief is the common denominator. Loss can be defined in numerous ways; it can be tangible or intangible and can play a significant role in one’s well-being. If processed appropriately, we can learn to overcome the grief and view the loss as a source of strength and resilience within. However, if left unresolved and repressed, grief has the power to weigh us down and hold us back from living the happy and wholesome life we deserve to live.
According to research by Kubler and Ross, there are 5 stages of grief that describe the primary responses to loss and serve as tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. These stages are not linear and so, we may experience them in any order, flow back and forth between stages, and experience them in different ways. Either way, most people exhibit grief within these stages. The ultimate goal is to achieve acceptance.
Denial: “This can’t be happening.”
During the denial stage, individuals may refuse to accept the fact that a loss has occurred. They may minimize or outright deny the situation and exhibit a state of shock.
Anger: “Why is this happening to me?”
During the anger stage, individuals may become angry at themselves or others as they realize that the loss has actually occurred. They may argue that the situation is unfair and try to place blame.
Bargaining: “I will do anything to change this.”
During the bargaining stage, individuals may try to change or delay their loss by turning to spiritual forces or attempting to reconcile breakups through negotiation.
Depression: “What’s the point of going on after this loss?”
During the depression stage, individuals may isolate themselves and spend time crying and grieving. They may develop a sense of hopelessness and utter sadness; however, it is a significant step toward acceptance.
Acceptance: “It’s going to be okay.”
During the acceptance stage, individuals finally come to fully accept their loss. They understand the situation logically and have come to terms emotionally. They learn to live with their new reality by listening to their own needs, moving on, growing, and evolving.
We offer grief workshops that help individuals move through the stages of grief. If you wish to know more about how we can help you, please call: 321-332-6984 .