The loss of a loved one is a difficult experience to go through. The grief that follows a loss may sometimes become too overwhelming, but there are resources to help you through every stage of the grieving process. There are typically five stages of grief, and the experience is different for every person. You may face the stages out of order, and you may not undergo some stages at all. No matter how you move through your period of mourning, it’s essential to allow yourself to confront your feelings rather than suppress and try to move on. By recognizing what stage you are in, you can reach out for support and help in order to heal.
Denial, Anger, and Bargaining
In the typical cycle, denial is the first stage. It is a defense mechanism allowing you to keep living as you did before your loss. It is only when you move out of this stage that you can receive help. After denial, you may experience anger. If you do begin to seek out a support system at this stage, a therapist may be the best place to start. Misdirected anger from your grief may damage relationships with friends and family, and talking with a neutral third party may prevent that. Meditation may also be helpful to you at this time to better rationalize your anger. After anger, you may get to a bargaining stage. You begin to blame yourself for the loss, which adds the weight of guilt to your sadness. Reach out and talk to your family and friends. They, too, have lost someone and know exactly how you feel. It is important that someone reminds you that your loved one’s passing is not your fault.
Depression and Acceptance
Depression typically follows anger. You are done with denial and distractions and left to face the facts and your feelings. If you find that you are isolating yourself, schedule regular visits with friends and family to keep yourself from retreating completely. If you do not know how to move forward with your life after this loss, consider seeking help from a therapist if you have not already done so. After depression, you may experience acceptance. Acceptance may not be joy, but at the very least, it will be peace. You are able to move forward with your life with all the memories you’ve made and all the lessons you’ve learned from knowing this person.
The Grieving Process Isn’t Finite
Even after reaching a state of acceptance, you will have days where you fall back into the other stages. Grieving, like any sort of healing, is not a linear process. It is perfectly natural to be blindsided by your emotions after the loss of a loved one. Make use of your existing support system of family and friends, or build a new one with a therapist or other mental health professional.
At Strouf Funeral Home, we are here to support you through any funeral or burial needs. We also offer preplanning and aftercare services to guide you to any community resources that may be available to you after your loved one’s passing.