The Healing Recovery
The grieving journey is most definitely a unique experience for each individual. It is a normal natural process that we all inevitably will go through in our life. Whether it be a loss of a loved one, a relationship breakdown or changes to a life you once knew.
Research has proven that there are the different stages the grieving process encompasses:
Denial: When you first learn of a loss, it’s normal to think, “This isn’t happening.” You may feel shocked or numb. This is a temporary way to deal with the rush of overwhelming emotion, yet for some this seems to last longer.
Anger: As reality sets in, you’re faced with the pain of your loss. You may feel frustrated and helpless. These feelings may later turn into anger or even rage. You might direct it toward other people, a higher power, or life in general. To be angry with a loved one who died and left you alone is natural, too.
Bargaining: During this stage, you dwell on what you could’ve done to prevent the loss. Common thoughts are “If only…” and “What if…” You may also try to strike a deal with a higher power.
Depression: Sadness sets in as you begin to understand the loss and its effect on your life. Signs of depression include crying, sleep issues, and a decreased appetite. You may feel overwhelmed, regretful, and lonely.
Acceptance: In this final stage of grief, you accept the reality of your loss. It can’t be changed. Although you still feel sad, you’re able to start moving forward with your life.
My personal experience to my own recovery was not as linear as going through the 5 stages of grief one by one, but rather chaotic ball of emotions that I worked through as they presented themselves. On many occasions they resurfaced again until they were acknowledged and addressed accordingly.
There are simply no directions to follow, more of a starting point to understand and process what an individual is experiencing in their time of despair. My feelings, reactions and responses were like fluid, with no fixed shape, no logic and sometimes no control. I learnt to adapt, acknowledge what I was feeling, work through it and simply go with the flow.
Explained further is the YouTube link The Five Stages of Grief and Loss https://youtu.be/Q2BJsOQypuw
‘Every person goes through these phases in his or her own way. You may go back and forth between them, or skip one or more stages altogether.’
In order to move forward and recover, it’s crucial that the grieving individual understands that emotions can come as waves. Grief encompasses many reactions which can seem overwhelming at times but they are normal and quite a unique experience.
My grieving experience was vastly different when I lost my mother (sudden loss) compared to when I lost my husband who passed away from illness. Although experiencing bereavement with both, the emotions varied significantly as the relationship and attachment with both my loved ones was different to me.
Strategies to assist during the grieving process:
- Give yourself time. Accept your feelings and allow yourself to go through their emotions as they surface and know that grieving is a process
- Talk to others. Spend time with friends and family and open the lines of communication. Avoid isolating yourself.
- Take care of yourself. Exercise regularly, eat well, and get enough sleep to stay healthy and energised.
- Return to your hobbies. Get back to the activities that bring you joy.
- Join a support group. Speak with others who are also grieving. It can help you feel more connected..
As a Grief, Loss and Recovery practitioner I offer strategies to help manage the emotional pain and angst an individual may experience with their grieving process. Using Timeline reset therapy we gently work through emotions to ease the pain and trauma associated with the individual’s loss, whatever it may be. There is more information on my web page outlining the therapies I use to assist clients.
Remember that grief is unpredictable for each individual. Just do what feels right for you.