Grief and Loss

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.” -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (Death: The Final Stage of Growth, 1975)

Unfortunately, so many of us have experienced loss in some form or another. The grief process occurs when faced with death, transition, loss of a job, a move, etc. Each experience can be emotionally and physically draining as we work to cope with these intense and complex emotions.

According to Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These stages are not to be understood in a linear fashion; rather, they are cyclical in nature. One can reach a place of acceptance, only to return to the stage of depression at a later date. Many things can trigger a return to an earlier stage of grief- the anniversary of the death, birthdays, holidays, or even seeing someone who resembles your loved one.

Another important thing to remember about these stages is that there is no time limit or “order” in which one is supposed to move through. Some people remain angry for months or years, while others may find themselves lingering in denial. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, but there are healthy coping mechanisms one can choose to implement as they work through the complex feelings of sadness, guilt, anger, doubt, uncertainty, etc. Some of these healthy responses to grief may include writing a letter to the deceased, looking through pictures, talking with people who knew the person you lost, and/or allowing yourself to release those emotions that seem to be clouding every other aspect of your life.

It can be even more difficult as you notice the rest of the world going on as if nothing has happened. During these times, it is important to turn to your loved ones and others who are willing to share in your grief. Allow yourself time to move through the pain. If you would like more information or someone to walk with you through your time of grief, please call Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to make an appointment. 




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