We all have the magic of potential
TEL: 020 7692 0046
EMAIL: info@peoplewithpotential.org
Follow us on: Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Connect via LinkedIn
 

Grief

Losing someone or something you love is very painful. After a significant loss, you may suffer all kinds of difficult and surprising feelings, such as shock, anger and guilt. 

Sometimes it may feel like the sadness will never diminish. These feelings can be frightening and overwhelming but they are normal reactions to loss. Accepting them as part of the grieving process and allowing yourself to experience them is necessary for healing.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve — but there are healthy ways to cope with the pain. Grief that is expressed and experienced has a potential for healing that eventually can strengthen and enrich life.

Grief is a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away.

You may associate grief with the death of a loved one – and this type of loss does often cause the most intense grief. Grief can be caused by many different types of losses.

The more significant the deprivation, the more intense is the grief. However, even subtle losses can lead to grief. For example, you might experience grief after moving away from home, graduating from college, changing jobs, selling your family home or retiring from a career you loved.

In 1969, the psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced what became known as the “five stages of grief.”

The Five Stages of Grief:

Denial: “This can’t be happening to me.”

Anger: “Why is this happening? Who is to blame?”

Bargaining: “Make this not happen, and in return I will …...”

Depression: “I’m too sad to do anything.”

Acceptance: “I’m at peace with what happened.”

If you are experiencing any of these emotions following a loss, it may help to know that your reaction is natural and that you will heal in time. However, not everyone who is grieving goes through all of these stages, nor do they do so in any fixed order. In fact, some people resolve their grief without going through any of these stages.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross herself never intended for these stages to be a rigid framework that applies to everyone who mourns.

In her last book before her death in 2004, she said of the five stages of grief: “They were never meant to help tuck messy emotions into neat packages. They are responses to loss that many people have, but there is not a typical response to loss, as there is no typical loss. Our grieving is as individual as our lives.”

Grieving is a personal and highly individual experience. The way you grieve depends on many factors, including your personality and coping style, your life experience, your faith, and the nature of the loss. The grieving process takes time. There are various different types of healing but, in the end, they all achieve the same goal. It depends on how the individual reacts and their own personal preference. The process of healing happens gradually; it cannot be forced or hurried – and there is no “normal” timetable for grieving. Some people start to feel better in weeks or months; for others, the grieving process is measured in years.

Whatever your grief experience, it is important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold. Along the way, some other difficult issues that you may think you have already dealt with, could re-emerge in a different manner, bringing to the surface previously undiscovered emotions. One is progressing towards ultimately fully acknowledging and accepting the loss. The pain dulls with time but may never totally disappear.

Grief is an emotion that we will all endure at some time in our lives. It is as inevitable as the rising and setting of the sun. However, each person’s experience of it will be different and unique to them; thus imbuing it with a strange beauty.

 Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break. ~ William Shakespeare

Grief Smaller

 
back to top