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Grief

Grief is the normal process whereby individuals come to term with loss. In 1969, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross identified five stages of the normal grief reaction. These stages are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The grieving process is different for everyone and there is no right or wrong way to mourn a loss. How much time it takes to grieve depends on the nature of the loss.

The Five Stages of the Normal Grief Reaction:

  • Denial

    • o

      May last a few moments or longer

      • o

        We deny the loss has taken place

  • Anger

      • o

        The person is furious about the person who has inflicted the hurt, even if the person is dead.

      • o

        The person may be angry at himself/herself for allowing the event to happen.

      • o

        Realistically, in many situations nothing could have stopped the event.

  • Bargaining

      • o

        The person may make deals with God, asking, “If I do this, can you take away the loss.”

  • Depression

      • o

        Feeling numb or sad

  • Acceptance

      • o

        This is when the anger, sadness or mourning is tapered off.

      • o

        The person accepts the reality of the loss.

How do we recover?

  • Share your grief with someone close

  • Seek professional help

  • Attend support groups

  • Remind your self that what you are experiencing is a normal reaction to loss

  • Maintain a balance diet, exercise, rest

  • Avoid mood altering substances (drugs or alcohol)

  • Surround yourself by people who care about you

  • Do not allow others to tell you how to feel and do not tell yourself how to feel, either

  • Plan ahead for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries or other milestones

  • Express your feeling in some creative way. For example: write poetry, plant a garden, create a scrapbook, get involved in a social cause

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