Tuesday, October 26, 2010The Grief Cycle Continued...Anger, Bargaining, Depression & Acceptance
Continuing our discussion on grief, we move onto the second stage of the grief cycle which is anger. The sense of anger is often sudden and is expressed differently by individuals. In this stage, an explosive burst of emotions comes to surface from the place where they were once bottled up deep inside. Unfortunately people often take their anger and frustration out on the people who are closest to them at this time. Many “why me” questions are often asked, with silent, “why not you” questions following.
Shortly after anger has surfaced, the bargaining stage begins. Effortlessly people try to convince themselves and others, prove or even justify their way out of painful situations by bargaining. This is an attempt to avoid the situation or to increase hope that it can be undone and reversed. Statements like “take me instead; she has her whole life ahead of her,” “if I get my job back I promise, I will stop drinking today,” are examples of some types of things that are said as people go through this stage.
When denial, anger and bargaining have all proven to be unsuccessful in easing a person’s pain, many people slowly begin to enter into the forth stage of grief, depression. When depressed, it is hard to see the positive or good in situations. Many people isolate themselves from loved ones. They stop doing the activities they once did on a regular basis. Work and school performance declines. The joy they once had is now gone.
The key to moving forward from this stage is found in the fifth and final stage of grief acceptance… The process of true healing can only begin when we are able to accept that a loss has occurred. Acceptance does not always mean that we fully understand why the loss has happened to us or that we agree with it. It does, however, mean that with acceptance, closure is possible, peace is possible, healing is possible.
Grief is an emotion that we all face in life. No one can tell anyone, when and how to grieve. This cycle is a personal journey that we each must deal with in our own way. Please note that if you are grieving and are having thoughts of hurting yourself or others please seek help today. Contact your local crisis line or hospital immediately and some one will help you.
As this month comes to a close, remember “life is a journey and healing is just a journey away!!”
Tuesday, October 12, 2010The Grief Cycle Continued...Denial
As we continue our discussion of grief, this week we will address the first stage in the grief cycle "denial". Many people often associate grief with death, the loss of a living person and or thing (i.e. a loved one or pet). We can experience grief after losing other things as well. The loss of a job, a friendship, a relocation or unexpected move away from loved ones, are all various incidents that can cause a person to grieve.
Shortly after suffering a loss there is a sense of shock. For some people nothing seems real. In the beginning people often admit to feeling numb, withdrawn, detached, and or disorientated at times. For some this loss is a nightmare they cannot escape. Other often experienced feelings at this time are feelings of despair, emptiness, helplessness and hopelessness.
As denial sets in, there is a strong disbelief that this "thing" has happened and a person is in no position to accept it. There are attempts to rationalize or try to make sense of the incident. Many people go searching for ways to rectify the issue. Revisiting common places, looking for their loved ones, talking out loud to them. These are attempts to prove that the loss has not occurred. Because these attempts are not successful the denial continues and for many people the next phase of grief begins... Anger and guilt.
Many people spend an extended amount of time in the denial phase. If you have ever suffered a loss, how did you handle the denial phase? What helped you move beyond this place and continue on the path towards healing? Posted by Dynamic Achievement Solutions Counseling and Consulting, LLC
Monday, October 4, 2010Understanding Grief...The Cycle
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. As we move forward this month DAS honors, remembers and celebrates the thousands of lives lost as a result of breast cancer and the un-timely passing of babies during pregnancy and infancy. Our hearts go out to the families across the world coping with the loss of a loved one from these two issues. As we reflect upon breast cancer and pregnancy and infant loss, we thought it appropriate to address the topic of grief. Grief is a normal human reaction to a loss or change. The timing of the loss whether sudden or expected, does not negate the emotions and feelings associated with grief.
The feelings and emotions associated with grief have been found to be uniform throughout the human race. Although we are all uniquely made, there are 5 apparent stages of grief that we all go through as we work towards healing after suffering a loss. These stages were identified by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, a Swedish doctor, who created what we now know to be the Grief Cycle.
The stages of the grief cycle are, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. No two people will go through this cycle the same, yet in order for full healing to occur it is suggested that people allow themselves TIME to enter and completely deal with life in each phase before attempting to move on to the next one. Each stage of the grief cycle holds certain characteristics and behaviors associated with it.
Each week this month we will focus on a different stage of grief and explore ways of working towards healing and recovery. Grief is something that we all must face in life. We cannot always control or counter-act the loss that will occur, we can however, control the way we live afterwards. Choose life today and remember
"Your Healing Is Just A Journey Away!!"
Posted by Dynamic Achievement Solutions Counseling and Consulting, LLC