Dear Dr. Romance: What Is The Grieving Process?

By

Dear Dr. Romance: What Is The Grieving Process?
Dear Dr. Romance: What Is The Grieving Process? What are the stages of the grieving process?

Dear Dr. Romance:

 

What Is The Grieving Process? What are the stages of the grieving process?

Dear Reader:

 

If you've had a personal loss, I am sorry that you have to go through it.  The traditional stages of grieving, developed by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, are Denial (or shock), Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. How long it takes depends on how big the loss is. We can grieve even over the loss of a job.  "Surviving Loss and Thriving Again" will give you more details and specific help with grieving.

Grief is an organic process, it has its own wisdom, and it needs a witness. An understanding friend, family member or co-worker can be that witness. There is nothing you can do to make a terrible loss less tragic, so the grief, anger and frustration that you feel are normal reactions to the circumstances. So you go through the stages of grief: shock, anger, seeking, depression and peace. It's normal for both of you to feel fear and rage that something terrible happened, a need for prayer and comfort, bouts of being overwhelmed, exhausted, disconnected, and depressed, and, finally, acceptance and understanding that this devastating event is a part of the risky life we humans all live. These feelings will come jumbled up, they'll recycle, and come in different order.

Grief is an essential life skill -- knowing how to survive grief means feeling safe to take another risk, and grieving actually expands one's capacity to love.  Expression of grief, and respect for the dead, is very important to the grieving process.

Anniversaries are very important in the grieving process. Each time an anniversary comes around, survivors relive the original loss. The first year of grief is the hardest, because it presents you with anniversaries and/or holidays all year around and each one is the first time without your loved one. The second year is somewhat easier, because you've survived each anniversary once. The actual anniversary of the event is the day that marked the change in your life, so for most people it continues to be significant. Marking the anniversary of your loss with a ceremonial event (such as posting on a grief site) helps you feel better. It also helps to include a reference to the person who was lost on each significant occasion, such as wedding anniversaries, religious holidays and birthdays.

 

The Real Thirteenth Step: Discovering Confidence, Self-Reliance and Independence Beyond the Twelve Step Programs contains information about recovering from grief.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Tina Tessina

Author

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D.
http://www.tinatessina.com
tina@tinatessina.com
562-438-8077
Dr. Romance Blog: http://drromance.typepad.com/dr_romance_blog/
http://www.twitter.com/tinatessina
http://www.facebook.com/#!/DrRomanceBlog
Amazon author page http://amzn.to/rar7RC
 

Location: Long Beach, CA
Credentials: LMFT, MFT, PhD
Other Articles/News by Dr. Tina Tessina:

11 Signs Your Guy Is Marriage Material

By

Do men have biological clocks?  Yes, they do! A man can feel the need to grow up and have a family, especially when he finds a woman who inspires those feelings in him. The problem is, how can you be sure the match is a good one? You'd think the positive signs in a date would be obvious, but with all the excitement, the most important clues can ... Read more

The Do's And Don'ts Of Improving Your Attitude

By

I have written in this column recently about emotional hygiene, which is doing the necessary maintenance on feelings as well as your physical body and household. Health reminders tell us to wash our hands frequently to prevent the transmitting of diseases. Did you know you can "wash" your mood, too, and give yourself an attitude adjustment whenever ... Read more

Advice: Confronting A Rift With An Adult Child

By

Dear Dr. Romance, I read your newsletter How To Heal A Rift With An Adult Child with joy because of how you simplify things for us. I already tried by email, but the conflict got more complicated. I received two emails; the second one had a picture with the message, "See what you are missing?" This did hurt me; it was out of context, so I ... Read more

See More

GET MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

FROM AROUND THE WEB