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Losing Someone You Love: The Effects of Grief

Jul 07, 2017

There are no words for the pain of losing someone you care about and love. Death is not something we are prepared to deal with, though the aftermath of it, the grief, which comes after, can last for a lifetime.

During this time, do you not feel pressure to get it together or put on a face for others? It can be hard because so many people are concerned about you. Experience your grief and try to cope with it as it comes and goes. That is the thing about grief, you can not predict it, and you never know when it is going to rise up.

There are five different stages of grief which you may experience.There are five different stages of grief which you may experience.Courtesy of Odyssey

According to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (There is no order for experiencing them) there are 5 stages of grief and loss:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

Though, be mindful of the fact that all people grieve differently. While some people will wear their emotions openly, other people will take the loss inward and deal with it alone. For some, it is really hard to talk about it, and this comes with acceptance. The closer you get there, the more likely you are to honor their memory. Never judge how a person deals with their loss, and remember that every person is unique to their experiences and how they react to them.

1. Denial & Isolation

This step highlights a person’s inability to accept what has occurred. The first reaction here is to deny that anything has taken place. “This isn’t happening, this can’t be happening,” people often think this to themselves and tell themselves what they need to hear in order to cope. It is not abnormal to rationalize overwhelming emotions. It is a defense mechanism that tones down the intensity of the loss. We block out what we can’t deal with and hide from the facts. This is a short-term reaction that takes us through the first motion of pain.

Grief can make us shut down entirely. Grief can make us shut down entirely.

2. Anger

We are not ready to deal with our emotions and turn to anger and frustration. The intensity of our emotions come from our vulnerable core, they become redirected and are expressed as anger. The anger can be projected on a variety of people in a variety of situations. Anger directly may be targeted at our dying or deceased loved one. We know the person is not to be blamed, but are simply feeling so much and don’t know where to place our emotions. It is possible for us to resent the person for causing us pain because they have left us.

Your body language says a lot about how you feel. Your body language says a lot about how you feel.

3. Bargaining

It is a normal reaction to fight feelings of helplessness and vulnerability with the need to gain control.

When you are barging you are thinking things like:

If only we came to the hospital sooner…

If only we listened to the doctor…

If only we had tried harder…

This is our way of making sense of what happened and looking to place blame. Do not hesitate to ask your doctor to give you extra time or to explain the details of your loved one’s illness. Arrange an appointment or ask that they telephone you at the end of his day. Ask for clear answers to your questions regarding medical diagnosis and treatment. Understand the options available to you. Take your time.

Talking about it can be helpful even when it is hard.Talking about it can be helpful even when it is hard.

4. Depression

There are two forms of depression, which are associated with mourning. One is practical. We worry about the costs and burial. We worry that, in our grief, we have spent less time with others that need us. During this phase, we make require some helpful cooperation and a few kind words.

The second type of depression is more low-key and is more private. It is our quiet preparation to separate and to say goodbye to our loved ones. Sometimes all we really need is comfort, but even that can’t stop the intense emotions.

Grief brings up all kinds of intense emotions.Grief brings up all kinds of intense emotions.

5. Acceptance

Not everyone reaches this place. Some people never accept what has been taken from them. Anger and denial can be hard to see past. This stage is associated with being withdrawal and calm. It is not a period of happiness and must be distinguished from depression, but it is a form of radical acceptance. The idea that you don’t have to like or love something to accept it for yourself.

Coping with loss is a very personal and individual experience and no one can fathom the intricate emotions that you are enduring. People can be supportive and try to comfort you through the process. Allow yourself to feel the grief as it washes over you. Fighting it only will prolong the natural process of healing.

Supporting and loving each other through the loss is key.Supporting and loving each other through the loss is key.

Remember that grieving is very much a personal process and it has no time boundaries, nor is there a “right” way to do it. Don’t assume someone is not sad simply because they aren’t crying all the time. People cope in different ways through different strategies. As you can tell you will probably go through a variety of stages, and that is okay. Don’t get upset with yourself if you’re still feeling down, take as much time as you need and know that you can be triggered at any time. Don’t hold back your emotions, feel them and try to talk to people if that helps. Sharing memories and stories, or expressing thoughts, and remembering the loved one can be quite therapeutic.

If you are feeling very depressed and your grief persists for a long period of time, go see your doctor. Sometimes we needed to be treated for depression that is caused by situations in our life. 

Have Your Say

Have you experienced any of the stages of grief? Has anything helped you in your time of loss? 



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Best Way to Support Someone Who is Grieving?

  • Send flowers.
  • Write a poem.
  • Send a card.
  • Just be there if they need to talk.

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

Goodness... I see where your mother is coming from: if you eat too much, no matter how healthy the food is, and don't work off the calories, you're going to gain weight. But she's being very obsessive and dramatic about it. There is nothing wrong with eating pizza or a cookie every now and then, and there's nothing wrong with relaxing from time to time either. As long as you aren't constantly eating junk and not burning the calories, then you do not have a problem. Eating unhealthy things every now and then does not make you fat. EATING every now and then does not make you fat. Try explaining this to her, calmly and patiently. Tell her that you don't want to be forced to do all of this exercising - being forced to exercise makes it a lot less interesting. Do not take "This is for your own good" for an answer; if you do not want to do it, it is NOT for your good. (This, of course, would be a different story if you were actually fat.) ALSO tell her that exercising too much and not satiating your cravings is JUST AS UNHEALTHY AS BEING FAT IS. If you were to not eat healthful meals and not snack every now and then, no matter how healthy or unhealthy the food is, plus exercise so frequently, you would not be healthy.  Eating is good for you, even if the food isn't. Eating too little and eating too much is not healthy. Exercise is good for you. Not exercising enough and exercising too much is not good for you. If you talking to her doesn't help, try telling another adult how you feel, and maybe they can help get it through to her. Regardless of what happens, take care of yourself. Moderate how much you eat, but don't limit yourself to less than you feel you need. Exercise, but don't do something you don't want to; working out should be fun. Good luck with everything. I'm really sorry that she makes you feel so badly about this.
reply about 23 hours
jake495 posted in Family Issues:
Make sure she knows its your body not hers In a respectful way of course
reply about 24 hours
I'm perfectly happy with myself. I'm around 5'6" and somewhere between 140-150 pounds, and I don't feel fat. But my mom is constantly telling me that I am, or, at least, that I'm going to be. She forces me to go to exercise classes because I don't like many sports, tries making me go on diets, but I don't want to. She tells me that if I continue the way I am, having an extra cookie once in a while and only eating cereal for breakfast, that I'll end up fat, and she makes sure to emphasize how horrible that is for a person to live with. She rolls her eyes and sighs whenever she sees me getting a snack, and just in general makes me feel awful for eating the things I like and for relaxing. I've told her that I don't want to do these things and that she makes me feel bad when she says things like that, but she swears it's for my own good and that I should never want to be fat, that it ruins people's lives. How should I deal with this?
reply 1 day
drowning posted in Friends:
"NS12" wrote: I meet this guy at a festival and we have been talking for the whole week and my mum has noticed I keep texting someone and I know I need to tell her but I don t know how I am going to tell her, I doubt she ll get angry or anything but he lives about 4/5 hours away from me. I know I need to tell her as I don t like keeping secrets from her. I know this was a bit ago, but I truly hope that you were able to be open with your mother. If you feel as if they won't get mad at you, then chances are that your guardian will not. Honesty is the best policy, and if you feel guilt keeping a secret, then it is one you probably shouldn't be keeping.
reply 2 days
I agree with @rainbowpoptart. You really shouldn't worry about relationships that much given your age. I promise, they're better things to worry about than boys and more secure romances occur later on in life anyways. But, given the situation, you shouldn't worry about either. The boy is unfaithful and so is your friend. If your best friend really valued your friendship, she would not have put it in a position that could end it. Don't waste your time on those who will not put you first just as you do for them; better people will come into your life and they are the ones who you should really worry about.
reply 2 days