5 Phases of Grief You Might Experience After Losing Someone You Love
Denial is one of the most common reactions to a traumatic event. It can be very useful in the early stages of a loss because it allows you to distance yourself from the pain. Denial can also be a positive coping strategy in that it can help you focus on the future instead of dwelling on the past. Prolonged denial, however, can prevent you from ever truly moving forward. This can make it more difficult to heal from your loss. If you’ve lost a loved one, you might deny the reality of their death. You might have trouble accepting that they are truly gone. Also, you can deny your feelings or the fact that you’re going through a difficult time.
You might be angry about the loss, about the person who passed away, or about your current situation. This anger could manifest in several ways like yelling or swearing at others or yourself, destructive or violent behavior, or feeling like you’re constantly irritated or frustrated. You might be angry with yourself for surviving when your loved one did not. You can feel angry with yourself for not being able to control your emotions or move past your grief as quickly as you’d like.
A period of depression could be due to the loss itself or it could be a symptom of a chemical imbalance. It can be difficult to determine the root cause of your depression since the two often go hand in hand. It’s important to seek treatment for your depression as soon as you recognize that you’re suffering from it. You might notice that you’re experiencing feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness and that your sleep and appetite are affected.
Bargaining is a way that you can try to take control of your situation. You might make deals with yourself or with others, including God, to try to make things better. Some common examples of bargaining might include: Promising to be a better person, be a better parent, or do more charity work. Telling yourself that things would be better if you tried something new.
The feeling of acceptance will be very different from the earlier stages. You’ll be able to distance yourself from the feelings of your loss so that you’re not consumed by your sorrow and pain. You’ll be able to see that tragedy objectively, put it in its proper perspective, and get on with your life. You can honor your loved one’s memory, recognize the ways they positively affected your life, and see them for who they truly were.