Grief can occur when we lose something we hold valuable in our lives. It could be the loss of a loved one, a pet, a job, or any situation that threatens our overall stability.
The Kubler-Ross Model postulates we go through 5 stages when we experience grief: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance. The time taken on each stage varies according to the individual. Also, some people visit some stages more than once and they are not linear; meaning that the way people grief can be different. In addition to this, some people experience something called “cumulative grief”, which occurs when we go through a series of events causing grief, without resolving the previous crisis.
Usually, when reaching the ‘Acceptance” stage, we are at the end of the process and soon we will be ready to live our lives more freely. We discussed “Acceptance and Allowing” on our previous post. However, I thought it is important to understand where we are in the process, if we haven’t managed to get to that stage. More importantly, to identify whether we are grieving or not and if so, what we are grieving.
During this Pandemic, many people are experiencing grief, but are not aware of this, thus not being able to address it effectively.
As mentioned before, we all grief differently, but there are some general signs that can help us identify whether we are experiencing grief or not. The symptoms will depend on what stage we are at, but in general these are: shock or numbness, or even trying to deny what is going on, anger, frustration or hopelessness, sadness, or we continuously judge ourselves for what we “should have done” or what we “should do” or for why we are not doing it.
In general terms, we are able to deal with grief on our own. However, sometimes we can get stuck or immobilised by the emotions and need to ask for help. It might be recommended to consult your GP and/or arrange some counselling sessions when experiencing an increased level of anxiety, sadness that doesn’t go away (we possibly cry often), lack of motivation, sleep patterns are disrupted, feeling continuously overwhelmed and not being able to move on with life.
If you identify with any of the signs described above, you probably are now able to determine what is going on for you and make decisions on what to do next. By acknowledging where we are at, moving into acceptance would be easier. Once we reach that stage, we can make new plans and get on with life as it is.
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