The grief journey is comprised of stages. Grief affects us in various ways but we generally pass through at least some of the stages. When the loss first occurs, we tend to resist the loss and may experience shock, numbness, confusion, tears, denial, anger and some physical changes especially in our appetite and ability to sleep. This stage is followed by intense emotions as we react to the loss through slowed thinking and actions, depression, despair, anguish and anger. Next we may desire to retreat from our loss because we feel awkward socially. Others may think we are doing fine after so many months when in reality we actually feel lonely, indifferent and apathetic. Eventually we begin to regroup, adjusting to our new normal. We may still experience grief spurts, but we might actually feel ready to reach out and help others through their grief journey.
Grief is no respecter of persons. Each of us grieves many losses in our lives and we all do it differently. The important thing to remember is to keep moving forward through the pain to find our new normal.
Questions for reflection:
Where do you see yourself in the grief journey?
What can you do differently to keep moving forward?
By Deb Clark