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Grief is something everyone will have to deal with at least once in their lifetime. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word as, “deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement.” A fact about life from the author, people die. We are born into this world, live life, and then meet our demise. As another human being, just as you are, reader, I understand that when your close friend or family member dies, you feel a series of emotions that can seem irrational. Typically, people experiencing loss will go through four stages of grief; Denial and isolation, Anger, Bargaining, and Acceptance.
When one first learns about the loss of their loved one, their typical response is denial. “This isn’t happening,” or something along those lines is the usual thought process. According to the PsychCentral website, “Denial is a common defence mechanism that buffers the immediate shock of the loss.” Isolation happens when the person in denial needs to sit and soak in the information alone.
The anger comes when the denial starts wearing off. They are not ready for their loved one to leave them. Intense emotions that they feel in this moment are deflected and redirected and outwardly expressed as anger. This anger can be directed at the situation or people involved, inanimate objects, total strangers, etc. This is a completely rational response to being hurt and vulnerable.
Often times, in an attempt to regain control, they will make “If only,” statements. For example, “If only we tried to reach out to them,” or, “If only we sought medical attention sooner.” This is called bargaining. Subconsciously, the person will try to make a deal with their god/s, higher being/s, or the universe. Sometimes guilt accompanies bargaining; when they think they could’ve done something differently and their loved one would still be there. This often leads them into a depressive state.
The stage of acceptance is not always awarded to everyone. Depending upon the situation, a sudden loss may still leave you in the anger, or even the denial stage, long after the loss occurred. Acceptance is not a stage of happiness, nor is it a state of depression. This stage is marked by withdrawal and a sense of calm. It is the stage that they are able to make their peace with their loss.
Grief is something everyone has to deal with at some point in their lifetime. Remember there is no right or wrong way to deal with grief. Everyone dies. That doesn’t mean we have to be okay with it, but someday we will.
"Definition Of GRIEF." Merriam-webster.com. N.p., 2018. Web. 20 Sept. 2018.
Axelrod, J. (2018). The 5 Stages of Grief & Loss. [online] Psych Central. Available at: https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-5-stages-of-loss-and-grief/ [Accessed 19 Sep. 2018].