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Ami Shroyer: Facts and Tips in Coping with Grief and Loss

We all know that human beings are mortal beings, and some come and go. 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. Grief is a unique experience and a subjective feeling, so not all people experience all the stages, and some may report experiencing more stages. Denial helps an individual to survive the tragic event of losing someone, and this stage involves a feeling of emptiness, overwhelming, and meaningless feeling. 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. As you become stronger, the denial stage will start to fade.

The second stage of the healing process when grieving is anger. You may feel endless anger because of the pain and you are free to show it by crying or shouting. 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. We are living in a society that fears anger, so we feel deserted, alone 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. The intensity of anger also reflects the intensity of love to the departed loved one. The bargaining stage involves willingness to give up something just for a loved one’s life to be restored, and this is most especially true for those who are dying. 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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