Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Grief Cycle Continued...Anger, Bargaining, Depression & Acceptance

Continuing our discussion on grief, we move onto the second stage of the grief cycle which is anger. The sense of anger is often sudden and is expressed differently by individuals. In this stage, an explosive burst of emotions comes to surface from the place where they were once bottled up deep inside. Unfortunately people often take their anger and frustration out on the people who are closest to them at this time. Many “why me” questions are often asked, with silent, “why not you” questions following.

Shortly after anger has surfaced, the bargaining stage begins. Effortlessly people try to convince themselves and others, prove or even justify their way out of painful situations by bargaining. This is an attempt to avoid the situation or to increase hope that it can be undone and reversed. Statements like “take me instead; she has her whole life ahead of her,” “if I get my job back I promise, I will stop drinking today,” are examples of some types of things that are said as people go through this stage.

When denial, anger and bargaining have all proven to be unsuccessful in easing a person’s pain, many people slowly begin to enter into the forth stage of grief, depression. When depressed, it is hard to see the positive or good in situations. Many people isolate themselves from loved ones. They stop doing the activities they once did on a regular basis. Work and school performance declines. The joy they once had is now gone.

The key to moving forward from this stage is found in the fifth and final stage of grief acceptance… The process of true healing can only begin when we are able to accept that a loss has occurred. Acceptance does not always mean that we fully understand why the loss has happened to us or that we agree with it. It does, however, mean that with acceptance, closure is possible, peace is possible, healing is possible.

Grief is an emotion that we all face in life. No one can tell anyone, when and how to grieve. This cycle is a personal journey that we each must deal with in our own way. Please note that if you are grieving and are having thoughts of hurting yourself or others please seek help today. Contact your local crisis line or hospital immediately and some one will help you.

As this month comes to a close, remember “life is a journey and healing is just a journey away!!”

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