Transform Grief and Bereavement to Power
Aristotle’s “man is a social animal” always rings true. Human beings do not live alone; rather, they seek companionship, even if unconsciously, and stick with a companion throughout life. A said companion can be a partner, parents, family, or even pets. And since they become a big part of life, once it’s time for them to go, grief is relentless. Losing a loved one is losing a part of the soul. The minute they go beyond the veil is the minute where life loses the color that they’ve brought with them. That being said, it’s crucial to never stop living. Grief consumes the souls of the living when the dead departs, and should never let it.
“Grief can be a burden, but also an anchor. You get used to the weight, how it holds you in place.” ―Sarah Dessen
Transforming grief into power to keep going is not an easy task, but we might as well try to learn how to progress and plan forward.
Definition of Grief
According to the Hobart and William Smith Colleges, grief is a completely natural response to loss. Both body and mind feel grief in many different ways. For the body, the common feelings are nausea, lack of energy, and breathlessness. As for the mind, two factors come into play; thoughts and emotions. The individuals feel guilty, lonely, and helpless and they’re in disbelief and might imagine the loved ones still alive.
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Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross explained that there are five stages of grief. They are, in order:
- Denial and disbelief of the event, where the individual tries to avoid the truth at all costs,
- Anger at the shocking news,
- A start of reluctant bargaining and a hint of understanding the weight of what’s happened,
- Depression seeps in; almost paralyzing the individual with sadness,
- Finally, acceptance was denying the truth no longer exists.
The importance of these stages comes when dealing with the repercussions and what they inflict on the body. The University of Colorado highlights that the effects are always different; there’s no right way to process grief.
However, that being said, there’s always a healthy way of dealing with grief. It’s up to us to choose that or the unhealthy way.
Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms of Greif
The fourth stage, depression, is a dangerous zone that can develop into a major depression that lasts way after the last stage is gone, as demonstrated by the American Cancer Society.
Depression is no easy feat; it takes a hold of one’s life and drags the individual down a heavily bad road. To process all these negative emotions, one might turn into addictions; alcohol, drugs, and even prescription drug. The misuse of the aforementioned is incredibly toxic and leads to a downfall.
Healthy Coping Mechanisms of Grief
The American Psychological Association believes that surrounding people with support and healthy habits is the first step. A person who just lost someone important would appreciate having the reassurance that the others are not leaving too.
The Harvard Gazette recently published an article on how mourning vexes the future. And for the first period after death, it might feel like so. However, it is crucial to remember that it won’t be true in the long term. Grief stops time temporarily only.
The University of Michigan suggests expressing your feelings and never bottling what you really feel. Be patient and kind towards both yourself and time, too.
Looking at the future and being aware of what you want is a step towards a good and healthy path. Never forget that life goes forward. Thus, and although it takes effort and strength, it is vital to transform grief into the will to live.
Grief might never stop haunting us. Reaching the last stage is not an indication of forgetting. It is, simply put, the ability to live with this grief and progress despite it.
Grief and Bereavement Counselling
At THE BALANCE Luxury Rehab Center, we aim to always be there for you and guide you through your hardships. We understand the trickiness of grief and the difficulty in getting out of the dark place. Thus, we develop a tailored plan according to your needs to lead you through. We hope to get you back in control of your own present and transform grief into power. By taking into consideration the future, we map out an action plan to get you there, healthy and happy.