Saturday, May 16, 2015

Dealing with Grief and Sorrow Part 1

             Some articles state five stages of grief and loss exist, and others say seven do. Of course, some are worded differently, but each covers mainly the same emotions. To begin, let’s list the two variations:

5 Stages:

1.      Denial and isolation

2.      Anger

3.      Bargaining

4.      Depression

5.      Acceptance

7 Stages: 

1.      Shock and denial

2.      Pain and guilt

3.      Anger and bargaining

4.      Depression, reflection, loneliness

5.      The upward turn

6.      Reconstruction and working through

7.      Acceptance and hope

            Both number ones deal with denial, but the five stages adds isolation, and seven adds shock. Both are correct, and I will discuss how we who grieve face all three. Both lists have anger and bargaining, but five has them separate, and seven combines them. Both have depression, and seven adds reflection and loneliness. Both have acceptance, but seven adds two steps that lead to acceptance and hope.

            The stages do not always occur in order. Some stages last longer than others. Grief and sorrow affect individuals differently because of emotions, experiences. No one reacts like another person. I wish to cover each step as I’ve experienced it, the order I took, lessons I learned. I lost a baby girl, my parents, grandparents, and my reactions for each loss were different. The hardest has been the loss of my husband, and I will use that grief mostly in my blog entries for the next several posts, hoping to help others that face a heartache so wrenching.


Holly Jahangiri said...

I've never read any of the books or essays, so I'm only superficially aware of the "stages." I know that there are so many emotions there, and some can creep up months - years! - later and smack you in the face, if you don't allow yourself to feel what you feel. One of the problems with the notion of "stages," and you've alluded to it here, is that it gives some people the notion that there's a prescribed order of things, a proper timeline and length of time, to grieve. The usefulness of the "stages" is that it tells you, "Don't be surprised when you feel THIS -"

Anger tends to weave itself through all the stages, for me. It may be a quiet seething or the urge to throw a chair - or a large dictionary - out a second story window - but it keeps cropping up until I've worked my way through all the other emotions. I think these stages are like the sections of a symphony, and anger is my percussion section. Anger has replaced bargaining altogether for me, I think; maybe that means acceptance comes faster, too. Last time I indulged in bargaining was at 16. I spent five years being righteously angry, but with acceptance came the knowledge that there was never any bargaining to be done; I was never even at the negotiating table. The relief was in knowing that my efforts hadn't failed.

4RV Publishing said...

Life has never been neat and orderly, and grief and sorrow aren't either. The different "stages," wish I could find a better word, come and go. Some pass briefly, and others return over and over. As individuals, we react in our own ways and times.