Whether it was a sudden loss personally or the loss of a loved one, everyone has experienced the 7 Stages of Grief in their own way at one point or another. Grief can be seen not only as a way of letting the emotions you are feeling out, it can also be a way of healing and coming to terms with the loss while attempting to move on from the event.
Everyone who experiences the 7 stages of grief will experience them in their own way, and the phases will not necessarily happen in the order they are listed medically. The stages of grief, and a bit more about them are listed as:
Suddenly hearing tragic news whether in the form of a phone call, letter or someone telling you in person, such as a Doctor, police officer or family member, will be a shock to the person not expecting the news. It is perfectly normal to be shocked after getting news like a loved one has passed away, been injured or you have suddenly lost personal property or assets. You may even experience other stages immediately and doubt the validity of the news. Generally you will feel like everything around you has stopped when you experience shock.
The denial stage is usually where doubt and being skeptical of the reality of the news comes in. Generally the person experiencing denial will refuse to accept what they are hearing and it may take longer for them to come to terms with what has happened. If a person dies suddenly it is natural to not want to believe it.
Children may resort to the Bargaining stage, but adults in severe denial or shock will also try to bargain with God, Doctors, Emergency Personnel, anything to change the outcome of the situation. Unfortunately, in situations like a persons death or the loss of a house in a tornado people have a tendency to think that begging or making promises to be better or do better will make everything better again. It won’t.
In the Guilt stage of grief the person receiving the news will blame themselves for the situation or death that occurred. Most people in the Guilt phase can’t be convinced otherwise that what happened wasn’t their fault or was completely out of their control. Watch for friends or family members experiencing Guilt to make sure they don’t try to make any rash decisions that may harm themselves or others. Try to let them understand it wasn’t their fault and be there for them as they look for someone to listen to them.
Anxiety or Anger –
It is very natural to feel anxiety and/or anger after the death of a loved one, the loss of personal property or assets. Generally people will blame God or the cause of the event for destroying their life, family, finances or property. If someone dies in an accident that was the fault of someone else the family of the victim may feel anger at that person and wish to retaliate. Retaliation does not solve the problem and could make the situation worse for families and the person exacting revenge.
After the death of a loved one, or loss of personal property that had sentimental value to you, it is natural to feel depressed or find yourself in a “funk”. Most people can pull themselves out it in a matter of days or weeks, for some it may require seeking counseling with a medical professional, and in extreme cases the person may never come out of their depression. Each episode of grief and depression depends on the person experiencing it and it depends on the person if they are willing to move on or not from the event. Always be an open ear to someone experiencing depression to make sure they don’t try anything that may harm themselves or others.
This is generally the final stage in the grief process, and for some it is the first and only stage they will experience. If the death of a loved one was expected after a long illness it might be easier for a person to accept what happened then the family or someone who died in an accident or who was murdered. Acceptance will come in time and you shouldn’t expect others to just accept a situation or event and move on if you already have. They will move on in their own way and at their own pace.
Hopefully this article can help you or someone you love with understanding grief and how to accepting it, deal with it in a way that will not harm themselves or others and move in a way towards a new life after the event.