GRIEF AND LOSS
Grief is very personal and individual. A person can grieve for death or non-death related losses and the grieving process can be different for everyone. While some of us want to be surrounded by family and friends to help us get through this time, others might need to be alone. Grief comes in waves and stages and it usually takes time to process.
At Carolinas Mental Health, I help you not with “moving on” from your loss but with leading you to learn how to live with it. In the therapy, we process feelings associated with loss and develop a new meaning after the loss.
What ıs grıef?
Grief is certainly one of the most difficult things to go through in life. It is generally defined as the “painful emotional state caused by the death of a loved one” and “the period of pain and sorrow that follows that passing away”. However, while this definition refers to the reaction to death of a loved one, any loss or transition in a person’s life can cause bereavement.
It takes a long time to recover from such an ordeal; and the the healing process can take months or even years. Being proactive about healing nonetheless, helps speed up the process and can give you the chance to keep your emotions under control.
Stages of Grıef
- Shock / denial
When death is announced, we may feel anesthetized and detached. It’s also possible to feel like excluded from normal life and the world of the living. At this point, some of us may refuse to believe what has happened and will continue to plan activities with the one who is already deceased.
We blame the loved one for being “gone”, we blame life, circumstances, medical personnel; in short, we feel a strong anger. Guilt is often very present in this stage.
We want to get back to our normal life, our “before” life and we are ready to change everthing to make it happen. This is another form of denial of reality. Although we do not really believe in the return of the deceased, we imagine that if we had acted otherwise during such an event, the death would not have happened. Guilt also feeds this stage.
- Depression / sadness
Reality catches up with us. We understand that we will never see the deceased again. We realize that dreams will never come true and the plans will not see the light of day. Sadness overwhelms us and sometimes gives way to depression.
We mourned our life with the deceased. We gradually get used to our new reality. We have new projects, new dreams. We always think of the deceased, but less consistently, with less pain.