Sometimes life is hard, discouraging, even sad. Grief is an important process we go through in life. Often we may be in a grieving process and not even realize it because we equate it with a death. No one has to die for you to be going through grief. Sometimes we lose a dream, a hope, or a relationship begins to fail. Suddenly a direction in our life takes a turn and we feel a range of strong emotions that we cannot place. Often we might hold onto something that we know we need to let go of and don’t even realize we cannot let go because we are avoiding the strong emotions of grief.
The 5 classic stages of grief are:
1. Denial- This isn’t really happening.
2. Bargaining- If only... or Why did God let this happen?
3. Anger- This shouldn’t have happened, it is somebody’s fault.
4. Sadness- Weeping and feeling the pain of loss
5. Acceptance- Coming to terms with the pain of loss.
Going through these stages does not need to be sequential and there is no specific time limit for each stage. However, if you do not allow yourself to go through the stages of grief in a healthy way then you will be unable to resolve your pain and move to acceptance. Acceptance occurs when you have processed through the grief and then arrive at a place of peace and acceptance in your inner spirit.
Is there something that you are grieving right now? Are you finding a healthy way to process the pain or loss? It might be tempting to numb the pain with alcohol, or by being too busy, or perhaps staying in denial. Avoidance is a common reaction.
Healthy grieving occurs when we seek support. Find a good friend or counselor to talk to. Journal your thoughts and feelings on paper. Find time to pray or have time to reflect on it. Often a good book can validate your experience and give you some tools to help.
When you are grieving it can be stunning how exhausted you might feel. It is particularly important to take good care of yourself and to give yourself rest and maybe even a little pampering. The important thing is that you do not ignore it. Ignored grief can turn into depression, anxiety, alcohol dependence or another problem. Remember that you are worth taking care of.
Many blessings to you!