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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. The five stages of grief for death and dying 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 refers to the state of shock, wherein a person who is grieving experience a world of overwhelming and meaningless atmosphere. This is the stage when a person feels numb, and not seeing how he can move on with life. Denial will start to fade once you start to feel the real emotions and thoughts of your loss, but you become stronger in facing reality.

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. Some people blame other people for the loss of their loved ones such as doctors, family, friends, relatives, and even 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. Then comes the bargaining stage, wherein you promise to do anything just for your loved one to live. 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.

The most painful part is the depressive stage, wherein you feel the impact of reality that you no longer have the person you were just talking to before, and this is pure sadness and loneliness that may seem to last forever. Some people don’t get away with this stage and may lead to total depression, needing medical help. A person may retract completely from his social circle in the depressive stage, but as soon as he talks about it and begins to socialize again, a grieving person starts to enter the acceptance stage.

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