Understanding Your Grief
Dr Elizabeth Kubler-Ross has done a lot of work on how grief affects us and how we cope and come to terms with the death of a loved one.
She has discovered that there are 5 stages that People can go through when grieving. They are not neat and orderly. You may feel several of them going on at a time. You may swing from one stage to another. You may hardly experience some stages at all.
The Five Stages of Grief are often felt as follows:
Stage 1: Denial
You are in state of shock or numbness, unable to believe the bad news. The hospital has made a mistake or it is all a bad dream. You may still refer to the deceased in the present tense, as if still alive. This is a necessary protection mechanism to allow you time for your subconscious to accept what has happened.
“It’s not really sunk in, I can’t believe it, I think he is going to walk in the door as usual”.
Stage 2: Anger
You question “why me” and this can over shadow everything. Anger at fate, God, doctors, hospital ‘the system’ or any other person or thing that could be a scapegoat. Something or someone must be blamed. You may be angry with the person who has died. This anger is not wrong or irrational; it is part of the grieving process and needs to be expressed and resolved.
Stage 3: Bargaining
You may search for an easy answer, a way out of the present, painful situation. It is often expressed as a bargain with God. There really are not any short cuts in the grieving process; it’s a journey that has to be gone through.
“God sort this situation out and I’ll turn over a new leaf. Why don’t you take me as well?”
Stage 4: Depression
As you now begin to realise what has happened is real, you may have regrets, feelings of yearning and longing with acute pain.
You may also have feelings of despair, helplessness, powerlessness and hopelessness. It really sinks in and begins to colour everything. The length of time this is experienced varies. It’s good to talk and be listened to at this stage.
“Without them there doesn't seem much point any more.”
Stage 5: Acceptance
You are now beginning to let go of your loved one and accept their death. There are moments of happiness again; the weight begins to lift. The colour begins to return to your life. You are learning to live with the loss and you have reached a decision that life must go on.
“It’s a shame we couldn't have had longer together, but I've a lot to be thankful for”
Strong feelings and emotions are all part of the natural grieving process. It may take 2 years or possible longer for some people to reach the acceptance stage.
We hope that this will help you to understand what you are going through.
If you need help with this process please feel free to contact us.
If you have suffered bereavement and feel you need someone to talk to in strict confidence, then this group could be for you.
Come along to the meeting at St. Clements Community Hall, Church Road North, Skegness usually on the third Thursday of the month from 2 – 4pm. Please check date before coming.
You can chat to people who will offer support and comfort. Feel free to bring a friend.