Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Stages of Loss and Grief

Grieving is very unfamiliar to me. I also do not know if I am coping right. I read that there are stages or process of grieving .  According to the article written by Julie Axelrod, published in psychcentral.com the five stages are :

1. Denial and Isolation - The first reaction to learning of terminal illness or death of a cherished   loved one is to deny the reality of the situation. It is a normal reaction to rationalize overwhelming emotions. It is a defense mechanism that buffers the immediate shock. We block out the words and hide from the facts. This is a temporary response that carries us through the first wave of pain.

That it is so true and I know I’m done with that, the first moment I heard from my sister that my father passed away early morning of May 5, I was in denial for days, I’m trying to act as normal as I can and imagining that we are all there for a special occasion and not because we lost our Dad.

2. Anger - As the masking effects of denial and isolation begin to wear, reality and its pain re-emerge. We are not ready. The intense emotion is deflected from our vulnerable core, redirected and expressed instead as anger. The anger may be aimed at inanimate objects, complete strangers, friends or family. Anger may be directed at our dying or deceased loved one. Rationally, we know the person is not to be blamed. Emotionally, however, we may resent the person for causing us pain or for leaving us. We feel guilty for being angry, and this makes us more  angry.

I don’t know if I went to this stage or if I am yet to go through this. So far, I haven’t felt anger to anyone and I hope not. Or probably yes, when I learned about my father’s sickness, I was at times mad at Doctors, and at people that seems do not understand what we’re going through that time. But when he died, I do not remember getting angry all throughout the wake.

3. Bargaining - The normal reaction to feelings of helplessness and vulnerability is often a need to regain control–

  • If only we had sought medical attention sooner…
  • If only we got a second opinion from another doctor…
  • If only we had tried to be a better person toward them…

Secretly, we may make a deal with God or our higher power in an attempt to postpone the inevitable. This is a weaker line of defense to protect us from the painful reality.

I had the series of “Ifs” even before my father left us. I guess we all go through that.

4.  Depression - Two types of depression are associated with mourning. The first one is a reaction to practical implications relating to the loss. Sadness and regret predominate this type of depression. We worry about the costs and burial. We worry that, in our grief, we have spent less time with others that depend on us. This phase may be eased by simple clarification and reassurance. We may need a bit of helpful cooperation and a few kind words. The second type of depression is more subtle and, in a sense, perhaps more private. It is our quiet preparation to separate and to bid our loved one farewell. Sometimes all we really need is a hug.

I must be in this stage now, though not the depressed type of wanting your world to stop but I admit I am having signs of depression probably because of the sadness and the pain of losing someone you love so dearly. Right now, I don’t want to go to work, I want to sleep as long as I can and I don’t want to face people and act normal. But of course, since I cannot afford to live like that – I am now back to work, I already attended a ministry meeting, went to church last Sunday but avoided as much as I could a whole lot of people. I don’t want to talk about stuff and pretend that everything is alright because I am not alright. NOT YET.

5. Acceptance

I know in my heart I’ve already accepted the fact that my father is now with our Creator but it’s the feeling of not seeing him again ever that causes so much pain. The thought that I will never ever hear his voice again, I will never see him smile again and he will not be there anymore during family celebrations –It’s so painful and every time that thought crawl into my mind –I cry.  And it creep into your mind unexpectedly eh.  Even if I am doing things, work and all, sometime I caught myself staring to nowhere and thinking about my father.

But to end this post, I know grieving is just a phase and that whether you like it or not, you’ll get through that phase someday.

I like this quote about grieving I saw from somewhere in the internet

“ It is in the thorough allowing of  the grieving process that true healing occurs”

I am allowing myself to grieve thoroughly so I’m sure healing will come soon.


  1. You will get to the acceptance part when you're ready. As you get older you lose more and more of those you love. It's just the process of life and death. Doesn't make it easier, but it's just the reality of living.

    Have a terrific day my friend. Big healing hugs. ☺

  2. I completely go with Sandee so true as time goes on it will get better but you will never forget him :-)

    Best wishes to you


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