Understanding The Stages Of Grief and Tips On How To Help A Grieving Friend

Understanding The Stages Of Grief and Tips On How To Help A Grieving Friend

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is one of the most painful experiences in life. Many times, the grief that you feel is overwhelming. Challenging emotions such as deep sadness, guilt, anger and confusion may rise up unexpectedly. The mourning process can also adversely affect your physical health, leading to sleep deprivation, the inability to eat and disorganized thoughts. All of these reactions to this tremendous loss are normal and common. There is not an official way to grieve, but there are healthy coping skills that you can acquire. With time, your pain can subside and you may learn to truly accept your loss. At this point, you have the potential to develop a different view of existence and the ability to continue with your life. The funeral homes of Hickory Hills, IL have grief management resources available to the community.

Grief is our instinctive response to significant loss- we suffer emotionally when someone we love disappears. While the experience of loss is unavoidable, there are methods by which you can better handle the pain. The first step would be to acknowledge your pain. You must also bear in mind that grief can cause you to feel things that you did not anticipate. Know that you will process your grief differently than anyone else. You require in-person support from your surviving loved ones. Make sure that you attend to your physical self to support your emotional well-being. Be alert to the differences between mourning and depression.

As previously mentioned, grieving is highly individualized. There is no correct way to do it. The manner in which you grieve is reliant on numerous factors such as your personality, ability to cope, previous experiences, religious or spiritual beliefs and how close you were to the deceased. Regardless of your particular circumstances, the grieving process is not immediately resolved. The healing process slowly unfolds- it takes time and cannot be forced or rushed. Please note that there is no set time for mourning. It can range from a few weeks to several years. You must exercise patience with yourself as you try to move forward.

The psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross developed the “five stages of grief” in 1969 based on her observations about the emotions that patients with a life-ending illness experience, but many have applied her findings to when a person goes through the passing of a loved one. These levels are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance. Not all grievers experience all of the stages and doing so is not required for healthy healing. Some effectively deal with their grief absent any of these stages.

Grief has also been likened to a roller coaster ride. Rather than seeing it as a progression of stages, it is analyzed as a process with plenty of ups and downs. As with many roller coasters, it tends to be more turbulent at first with deeper and more prolonged lows. These periods generally lose their intensity and duration over time, but it does not happen overnight. You may always be triggered by events such as a birthday or anniversary.

You can help someone who is in mourning by being a good listener, saying kind and supportive words, assisting them with chores, projects and daily tasks and avoiding generalized platitudes. Please always remember that they will grieve in their own way.

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