Dealing with grief is never easy. I know it may not seem like it but the ability to identify and deal with grief is a crucial survival skill. In a survival situation the limits of your emotions will be tried and tested and if you don’t know how to keep your wits about you, it could just break you.
There are 5 key stages to grief and each requires a different skillset to deal with. These stages do not necessarily happen chronologically, in fact, most people move between stages before they make peace with the situation they’re in. Aside from guns and gear, you need to be mentally equipped to deal with loss in a crisis… make sure this skill set is not lost on you.
The 5 Stages of Grief | Surviving Loss
We all grieve in different ways. Some people are very emotional and cry their hearts out to alleviate the pain, while others grieve discreetly and may not even cry at all. There’s no concrete formula for grieving and we should not be hasty in judging how others cope as well. To help you through the grieving process, let’s talk about the 5 stages of grief so you can better understand where you stand.
Usually, upon learning the tragic news of the death of a loved one or being terminally ill, the initial reaction is denying the reality of the unfortunate circumstance. You’ll probably tell yourself repeatedly “this isn’t happening.” This is natural and normal, especially if you’re faced with overwhelming emotions. Denial is a self-defense mechanism and a temporary response to help us cope with the excruciating situation.
This stage of grief comes in many forms. You may be angry at yourself for not saying something you wish you had to a deceased loved one or the person you broke up with. You may also direct your anger to the loved one who passed away for leaving you and for the pain you’re going through.
Anger may also be aimed at your friends or family, or even at inanimate objects. You have the tendency to lash out at anyone or anything at any given time. Additionally, being angry can sometimes make you feel guilty. Due to the heightened emotions, you may start doubting your religious beliefs and get angry with the supreme being.
With all these many forms of anger, it all boils down to one thing: you find someone or something to blame just to ease the pain. While this is understandable and normal, try to find some answers to your questions and help yourself understand the situation. Take your time. Know that you’ll be able to pick up the pieces when you’re ready.
Sometimes, in your grieving period, you may find yourself begging for things to go back to what it was and in return, you’ll offer to do something good. For instance, you may say “I promise to be a better person if you bring my deceased loved one back.” In an attempt to distract yourself from the pain you’re feeling, bargaining becomes your escape goat.
Due to the unfortunate event you’ve been through, you may undergo reactive depression. Life suddenly lost its meaning and you’re headed in an unknown direction. There will be times when you wouldn’t want to get out of bed or leave the house. You’ll find it hard to do your usual daily routine and opt to just sulk in depression. This heavy feeling may come and go and there will be good and bad days.
Also, depression is connected with the production of serotonin in your brain. If the serotonin level is low, you’re more likely to feel sad. There are various ways to increase your serotonin like exercising, eating less sugary foods, having fun under the sun, or get a relaxing massage. No pressure though, find an activity you’re comfortable with…baby steps!
Depression can turn into a very serious condition and it’s not to be taken lightly. If you are feeling hopelessness, please talk to someone whether it’s a close friend, relative, or even a stranger who is willing to listen. Engage in an activity or hobby that can keep your mind busy. At this grieving stage, you’ll need all the support you can get.
Acceptance is coming to terms with the reality of the situation. Recognizing and not just knowing that this is the life you’ll be living from now on will help you cope better and deal with the painful moments accordingly. You’ll make adjustments and reorganize things here and there, but the beauty of acceptance is– now, you’re willingly doing it to get yourself back on track.
As you accept the way things are, you’ll be able to invest in new meaningful relationships and new connections. You’ll understand that every emotion you felt and feel is valid, thus, you’ll be able to recognize and deal with your needs better too.
Video: The 5 Stages Of Grief Explained:
Grieving and coping with a very difficult situation is different for each of us. Allow yourself to feel and grieve properly to promote proper healing. Take into consideration these stages of grief to better understand what you’re going through, what you went through, and what you might still go through. Understand that the best person to help you is you, but of course, there’s no harm in allowing others to help you as well. Keep a positive mindset and have faith that everything will fall back into place.
Have you been through these stages of grief? What did you do to survive? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Up next: How To Survive A Plane Crash
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I just lost my wife a month ago and am dealing with it. It came very sudden. Renal failure took her. Currently I am dealing with the anger and depression stage. Thanks for the article. It helps to cope with things
After I found out my home was gone in Hurricane Harvey, I found myself going through e very stage you’ve talked about. The hardest part is having to go over the situation several times when filing for assistance. Then just when I thought they had all the information I have to contact insurance companies and get additional verification thatvthwy did not cover my possessions in the settlement for The RV that belonged to my daughter and son in law. And that my Geico vehicle insurance did not cover my possessions. This makes it hard to move on when constantly questioned. Even harder is that you need to get the copy then fax it to them. After a disaster fax places are at a premium if you ‘M even find one. But I don’t drive so I not only have to find a place that can download the information but I have To explain to those I am temporarily living with why I need to be taken to these places. Each brings memories back and having to depend on others is even harder for someone used to being a lot more independent. So the cycle is repeated. I realize for many years memories of what I lost and starting over are going to be constantly with me but also all my friends and neighbors in the communities I lived in and hope to return to. Just remember that God is there for us all.
Thank you for the information. My father went thru them all in 3 weeks before he passed with cancer. My heart goes out to the hurricane people. Hope it gets better soon.
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I’ve dealt with it and am still dealing with it almost 4 years later. I lost my mother to cancer and then a week and a half later I lost my husband to a brain bleed. It’s not easy coping with two huge losses at the same time. I am still at the depression stage, Still not quite ready to move on but I still keep working on it because life this depressed is awrul.