Grief & Loss

The Grieving Process

There is no one “right” way to grieve, and there is no way to anticipate exactly how the feelings of sadness, anger, loss, and loneliness will heal and resolve. Some have described the grieving process as a roller coaster, filled with highs and lows. Over time the roller coaster evens out so the highs and lows are more manageable, but the big ups and downs can reappear, especially at important family events, anniversaries, holidays, or other special occasions. People who have suffered grief do say that it will get better with time and the support of friends and loved ones.

Suffering from Grief – The Signs and the Symptoms

Grief can manifest itself in several ways. Here are physical conditions and ailments that can be triggered by grief.
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to sleep
  • Pain
  • Stomach pain
  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Chest pressure
  • Heart palpitations
  • Backache
  • Panic attack
  • Anxiety

The Five Stages of Grieving

  1. Denial:  Often times one will feel numb and in shock over a traumatic loss
  2. Bargaining:  Saying “If only you come back, I will never be/do (such and such) again”
  3. Depression:  Feelings of intense sadness that can lead to crying jags and decreased every day functioning
  4. Anger:  Feelings of anger towards the one you lost, yourself, or at the feelings of loss in general
  5. Acceptance:   Coming to terms with the reality of what is without judgment of self or others.

Dealing With Grief

It is important to remember that these stages do not flow in a uniform structured pattern, but often move back and forth between various stages until acceptance is reached.  It is beneficial to seek professional help for navigating the feelings associated with grief/loss.