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Grief: The Experience

Everyone experiences grief differently, but there are several stages of the grieving process that are fairly universal.  

Grief is a universal emotion

Grief is a universal emotion

1. Shock and Denial.

This phase often manifests itself in a sort of numbness, a feeling of disbelief and a sense of helplessness.

2. Pain and Guilt.

As the shock abates, it is often replaced with feelings of longing for the one we have lost.  It is standard at this stage to experience guilt and remorse about things we may have done or not done, said or not said, to that person. Overwhelming emotional pain is difficult to deal with, and should not be stifled.

3. Anger.

A common question those in grief ask is ‘Why?’ Why Him/Her? Why us? Why me? Finding the answer to this question causes frustration and anger. It is common at this stage to try to find something or someone to blame, or take your frustration out on.

4. Melancholy.

You may experience a period of introversion. This stage of the process may leave you feeling low, and you may find you spend a lot of time reflecting on the experiences you had with your loved one. Those close to you will often try to encourage you not to wallow in your grief. However, this is an important part of the process. It allows you to work through your feelings about the one you have lost, as well as reflect on your time together. At this point that you can start to look toward the future, and might even see some hope on the horizon. The worst is over. Often, people in this stage of the process start to think about how they might best commemorate and celebrate the life of the person they have lost.  Deciding on an online memorial can be a great way to honour your loved ones. It allows you to have a permanent reminder of them which everyone can have access to, be involved in creating and even add to.

5. Hope for the Future.

The sense of hopelessness and despair you felt will start to lessen. You can now begin adjusting to life without the person you have lost.

6. Readjustment and Acceptance.

You will eventually begin to feel that you can settle in to new routines, and maybe even start making plans for your future. Life will seem less overwhelming. If you are experiencing prolonged grief, you may want to seek out the consult of a grief counselor. They can be very helpful in assisting you through the grief process or referring you for more intense treatment if need be.

 

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