|Today I want to look at what I call the Seven Stages of Grief. There is no exact science to the stages of grief; some will pass through all stages, others may not. It is totally personal to you and your own experience. However they do form some sort of foundation of how you may be feeling and where you are at in your period of grief.
The stages do not follow in a nice straight line from one stage to the next. It takes time and as I have already said it differs from one person to the next.
Sometimes, just when you think you are moving forward, you find you are backtracking. The main purpose of trying to put these stages down in some sort of order, is to try to illustrate that there is light at the end of the tunnel. They give you some sort of understanding of what is actually happening to you.
Its not unusual for you to feel depressed and lost later on a long time after the tragedy occurred. This can be quite a few months after and is totally normal. Lots of your friends and family will tell you to “get a grip” or “move on”
Understand that it is totally normal to need to be alone during this time to reflect on your own sadness. This may help you deal with those that are telling you such things. The way you are is totally normal in your situation. So do not beat yourself up about it.
So lets try and break it down into Seven Stages of Grief.
Shock and Denial
You may feel on the discovering of your loss with a total disbelief. To avoid the pain you may just deny the loss, this is you trying to avoid the pain. You are being protected emotionally by the shock so you do not get hit all at the same time. You may endure this for some time to come, days and perhaps even weeks.
Pain and Guilt
Your shock will eventually wear off; however the unbelievable pain may well then kick in. It can be overpowering and unbearable, but believe it or not it is essential that you experience and feel this pain on your road to recovery. Its no good dumbing it down with booze or drugs. You may start to look back and feel remorse and guilt over things you could have done better. You life may feel out of control and chaotic at this time. You may well be filled with fear.
Your frustration may build up and do not be surprised if you feel anger. Try not to vent your anger outwardly, especially against people that care and love you. Its normal for you to release all your emotions. No good for you to keep everything bottled up. You may well ask why this has happened to you.
Lonely, Depressed and Even More Reflective.
Everyone may well be telling you to pull yourself together and move on, but do not be surprised if a longer period of sad reflection takes over. How you are reacting is totally normal. Do not be rushed. Everyone encouraging you at this time actually does not help you very much. Eventually you start to understand how great your loss is. This is a time that may be filled with more remorse and thinking about memories from the past. Do not beat yourself up if you feel sometimes desperate or low.
Your life is actually continuing even though you have had this great loss, but you feel a little more calm. Sometimes you feel your old self coming back and not so “blue”
Recovery and Moving On
As you start to crack on with your life and you mind starts working properly, you look to solving problems and solutions in connection with your new position. You start now to work on more practical matters concerning your own life.
Now onto the last stage, you feel some acceptance and start to understand clearly with some acceptance as what has happened. Do not expect to be suddenly really happy. This experience will have changed you. You need to accept this. But you will move forward. Suddenly you will be planning things and thinking about your future. Eventually thinking about this lost love may still have some pain but it will not be like the level that you experienced in the beginning. Eventually you will be hoping for good times again and be looking or joy within your own life again!