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.
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:

Do You Want The Relationship Or Do You Want Him?

By

Learn how to move on... Dear Dr. Romance: I'm a couple of years into my relationship with many problems. I met my guy online and he moved the relationship along rather quickly. His eagerness even made me a bit nervous. After a couple of months of being with him, I began to fall for him and fell in love, it's kinda strange, but right after I gave ... Read more

Ladies, Never Let A Man Blackmail Your Heart

By

Women have to stand up for themselves.  Dear Dr. Romance: I'm still having a bit of trouble letting go and cutting off communication with a guy who mistreats me. I understand in my head that this is not right, but I can't seem to get it emotionally. Yesterday was his birthday and it was particularly difficult to not reply despite his angry ... Read more

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow And So Will Your Smile!

By

Although most people in the country wouldn't agree, we in Southern California have been having some extreme weather conditions: rain and mudslides. You could almost say we're so used to mild conditions that we become afraid of what others would call "real" weather — weather wimps. Being afraid, ashamed of, or embarrassed by your feelings ... Read more

See More

 
PARTNER POSTS