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Thread: 7 stages of grief

  1. #1
    Percy's Avatar
    Percy is offline Senior Member
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    7 stages of grief

    This thread is for GG and anyone else who has suffered the loss of a loved one. I know you have more than likely have read this before and are quite familiar with it....it is my simple contribution to what raw emotions you may be going through at the moment. May the compassion and support from everyone here help ease your suffering.



    Once again, it is important to interpret the stages loosely, and expect much individual variation. There is no neat progression from one stage to the next. In reality, there is much looping back, or stages can hit at the same time, or occur out of order. So why bother with stage models at all? Because they are a good general guide of what to expect.

    For example, generally, a long period of "depression" (not clinical depression), isolation, and loneliness happen late in the grief process, months after the tragedy strikes. It actually is normal and expected for you to be very depressed and sad eight months later.

    Outsiders do not understand this, and feel that it should be time for you to "get over it" and rejoin the land of the living. Just knowing that your desire to be alone with your sad reflections at this time is normal will help you deal with outside pressures. You are acting normally. They just don't "get it".


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Here is the grief model called "The 7 Stages of Grief":


    7 Stages of Grief...

    1. SHOCK & DENIAL-
    You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the loss at some level, in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks.

    2. PAIN & GUILT-
    As the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or escape from it with alcohol or drugs.

    You may have guilty feelings or remorse over things you did or didn't do with your loved one. Life feels chaotic and scary during this phase.

    3. ANGER & BARGAINING-
    Frustration gives way to anger, and you may lash out and lay unwarranted blame for the death on someone else. Please try to control this, as permanent damage to your relationships may result. This is a time for the release of bottled up emotion.

    You may rail against fate, questioning "Why me?" You may also try to bargain in vain with the powers that be for a way out of your despair ("I will never drink again if you just bring him back")

    4. "DEPRESSION", REFLECTION, LONELINESS-
    Just when your friends may think you should be getting on with your life, a long period of sad reflection will likely overtake you. This is a normal stage of grief, so do not be "talked out of it" by well-meaning outsiders. Encouragement from others is not helpful to you during this stage of grieving.

    During this time, you finally realize the true magnitude of your loss, and it depresses you. You may isolate yourself on purpose, reflect on things you did with your lost one, and focus on memories of the past. You may sense feelings of emptiness or despair.

    7 Stages of Grief...

    5. THE UPWARD TURN-
    As you start to adjust to life without your dear one, your life becomes a little calmer and more organized. Your physical symptoms lessen, and your "depression" begins to lift slightly.

    6. RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH-
    As you become more functional, your mind starts working again, and you will find yourself seeking realistic solutions to problems posed by life without your loved one. You will start to work on practical and financial problems and reconstructing yourself and your life without him or her.

    7. ACCEPTANCE & HOPE-
    During this, the last of the seven stages in this grief model, you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. Acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness. Given the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy. But you will find a way forward.

    7 stages of grief...

    You will start to look forward and actually plan things for the future. Eventually, you will be able to think about your lost loved one without pain; sadness, yes, but the wrenching pain will be gone. You will once again anticipate some good times to come, and yes, even find joy again in the experience of living.


    Live life...instead of trying to control it......through non resistance...non judgement and non attachement.

  2. #2
    NY10's Avatar
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    This is a very helpful post. I myself suffered a very bad sudden loss of someone very close to me a year ago. It took me exactly 1 year (to the date of his passing) to finally feel myself again. I suffered very badly from depression. I had nightmares, fears, dreams, I had guilt, I blamed myself that I did something wrong (I was the one that called 911 and was with him when he passed)

    For the longest time I lost myself, my friendships, work, relationship it all suffered. It wasn't until a few weeks ago (right before the 1 year anniversary) that I accepted his passing and started to feel "alive" again myself. I miss him still everyday and I still wish he was here but I have learned I did all I could, I have accepted that it was his time and he is in a much much better place. I have stopped thinking negative (I always was the upbeat positive optimistic one) and stopped thinking every little thing means the end of the world.

    I went to visit the cemetery recently and spoke to him like I always do, the only difference is I didn't feel a heavy weight, I felt at peace. I have learned to miss him in a healthy normal way. I look back on the past year and remember what it did it to me, what it took out of me and what it also brought me. I have become stronger and smarter. The grief and depression is the worse part, along with the blame that I felt. I have realized that there was nothing more I could do, by the time I got to him he was already not himself and gone, I did the best I could.

    Even though the loss will be with me forever the pain I felt for a year is gone. Now I can look back at the memories and not break down and cry, I look through pictures and smile and laugh.
    Percy and Mebel like this.

  3. #3
    Percy's Avatar
    Percy is offline Senior Member
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    Glad to hear you are feeling so much better NY10


    Live life...instead of trying to control it......through non resistance...non judgement and non attachement.

  4. #4
    Mebel's Avatar
    Mebel is offline OWYM AG 29 yrs
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    [QUOTE=Percy;659444]This thread is for GG and anyone else who has suffered the loss of a loved one. I know you have more than likely have read this before and are quite familiar with it....it is my simple contribution to what raw emotions you may be going through at the moment. May the compassion and support from everyone here help ease your suffering.


    Eventually, you will be able to think about your lost loved one without pain; sadness, yes, but the wrenching pain will be gone. /QUOTE]

    Thanks Percy
    Percy likes this.

  5. #5
    theREALTrish's Avatar
    theREALTrish is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Percy View Post
    This thread is for GG and anyone else who has suffered the loss of a loved one. I know you have more than likely have read this before and are quite familiar with it....it is my simple contribution to what raw emotions you may be going through at the moment. May the compassion and support from everyone here help ease your suffering.



    Once again, it is important to interpret the stages loosely, and expect much individual variation. There is no neat progression from one stage to the next. In reality, there is much looping back, or stages can hit at the same time, or occur out of order. So why bother with stage models at all? Because they are a good general guide of what to expect.

    For example, generally, a long period of "depression" (not clinical depression), isolation, and loneliness happen late in the grief process, months after the tragedy strikes. It actually is normal and expected for you to be very depressed and sad eight months later.

    Outsiders do not understand this, and feel that it should be time for you to "get over it" and rejoin the land of the living. Just knowing that your desire to be alone with your sad reflections at this time is normal will help you deal with outside pressures. You are acting normally. They just don't "get it".


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Here is the grief model called "The 7 Stages of Grief":


    7 Stages of Grief...

    1. SHOCK & DENIAL-
    You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the loss at some level, in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks.

    2. PAIN & GUILT-
    As the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or escape from it with alcohol or drugs.

    You may have guilty feelings or remorse over things you did or didn't do with your loved one. Life feels chaotic and scary during this phase.

    3. ANGER & BARGAINING-
    Frustration gives way to anger, and you may lash out and lay unwarranted blame for the death on someone else. Please try to control this, as permanent damage to your relationships may result. This is a time for the release of bottled up emotion.

    You may rail against fate, questioning "Why me?" You may also try to bargain in vain with the powers that be for a way out of your despair ("I will never drink again if you just bring him back")

    4. "DEPRESSION", REFLECTION, LONELINESS-
    Just when your friends may think you should be getting on with your life, a long period of sad reflection will likely overtake you. This is a normal stage of grief, so do not be "talked out of it" by well-meaning outsiders. Encouragement from others is not helpful to you during this stage of grieving.

    During this time, you finally realize the true magnitude of your loss, and it depresses you. You may isolate yourself on purpose, reflect on things you did with your lost one, and focus on memories of the past. You may sense feelings of emptiness or despair.

    7 Stages of Grief...

    5. THE UPWARD TURN-
    As you start to adjust to life without your dear one, your life becomes a little calmer and more organized. Your physical symptoms lessen, and your "depression" begins to lift slightly.

    6. RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH-
    As you become more functional, your mind starts working again, and you will find yourself seeking realistic solutions to problems posed by life without your loved one. You will start to work on practical and financial problems and reconstructing yourself and your life without him or her.

    7. ACCEPTANCE & HOPE-
    During this, the last of the seven stages in this grief model, you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. Acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness. Given the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy. But you will find a way forward.

    7 stages of grief...

    You will start to look forward and actually plan things for the future. Eventually, you will be able to think about your lost loved one without pain; sadness, yes, but the wrenching pain will be gone. You will once again anticipate some good times to come, and yes, even find joy again in the experience of living.
    When my daughter's father was shot to death in the convenience store that he owned, in 1991, I didn't think I'd recover. I grieved for over 10 years. I cut myself off from life and no one
    close to me, including my family, understood. I had suffered loss far too much from the time I was a child and my mother was killed in a car accident. I think losing my daughter's father was a
    culmination of all the other losses. I was 37-years-old and every loss impacted me more than I'd ever realized. If I start thinking about all of them again, I still feel the pain. But, it does get
    somewhat better. I can think of my daughter's father and not feel the gut-wrenching pain. I even fell in love again.

    But, I don't think grief is something we ever completely recover from. We learn to go on. We find happiness again. But we are, forever, aware of the fragility of life. I think, in a way, that's
    a good thing. We don't take anything for granted. I certainly don't because now I'm dealing with the fact that the man I love has Primary Progressive MS. I've had to think long and hard about
    how I'll go on if something happens to him. That forces me to take each day one at a time.....sometimes one hour, or one minute, one at a time.

  6. #6
    whiterose's Avatar
    whiterose is offline Administrator
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    Percy, thank you for sharing this info. I learned these stages when I was in nursing school. Have found through life's experiences that they apply in all sorts of situations related to loss, not just death. The nurse in me feels this is useful information for anyone who is suffering a loss.
    Percy and pinkunicorn like this.

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