Tag Archives: acceptance

Stages of Grief-Depression & Acceptance

The last stages of the grieving process are depression and acceptance. Here are links to my depressionposts on denial, anger, and guilt. As always, these emotions are perfectly normal at this time, but if your depression is debilitating, please seek professional help.

Depression During the Grieving Process

You can expect to be depressed for a while. You may have trouble sleeping, lose your appetite, and feel lethargic and sad. Little things will probably send you over the edge at times. You may not feel like being around others, but this can be dangerous-don’t close yourself off. I tended to keep to myself too much and it only makes your sadness worse.

After awhile, these symptoms should lessen somewhat. You’ll still occasionally feel all of these things during the grieving process, but as long as you’re able to function except for the occasional day, you’re probably normal.

It’s hard to put a time frame on how long you’ll be depressed because everyone is different and it also depends on the relationship you had with the loved one. If, for example, it’s your partner, you’re probably going to be grieving for the lost plans for the future that you had with them, too. That’s what happened to me. But once you’re able to get past that (acceptance), you’ll find that eventually you can make new plans for your future.

I’m by no means an expert, but in my opinion, if your depression lasts for several months with no lessening, then you should see a doctor to make sure you haven’t fallen into a major depression. Here’s a link to an article that has more information on that.

Acceptance

As hard as it is to believe when you’re loss is new, one day you will reach acceptance of the acceptancesituation and find ways to begin to live life, hopefully on your own terms. You’ll always miss them, but you have to move on eventually.

I still think about my husband and my boyfriend every day, but for the most part, my thoughts aren’t sad. You’ll find that the dark times are less and less and when they do pay you a visit, it’s much easier to overcome and continue on with your day.

Eventually, you are going to start enjoying some of the things you used to enjoy and may even get excited over plans for your new life. If that’s the case, be happy, don’t let guilt get in your way. It’s okay to live your life. That’s what they would want.

Moving on doesn’t mean that you should forget your loved one; far from it. My boyfriend was 9 years older than me and in bad health. He knew that he’d die before me and he told me that he didn’t want me to sit at home and pine away for him. He wanted me to get out there and be happy. I’ve tried to honor that wish, and I guess you could say that I’m grateful to him for his “permission”.

With that said, I’m not really sure if the grieving process is ever truly over. You may always deal with some of these stages, but it won’t be as severe. And you CAN be happy again.

grieving process - acceptance

Check out these 7 tips to help get through your grief.

Stages of Grief-Anger is Okay

This is my second installment of articles about the stages of grief. This time I’ll talk a little about anger. You can find the first installment on denial here.

Anger is a potent emotion. The loss of angera loved one will probably cause you to feel anger at some point towards people and your situation. Again, this emotion is another normal stage in your grieving period, and you will get through it.

There may be anger towards the one who has passed away. You may experience a sense of abandonment, especially when you’re having a bad day.

I remember yelling at my husband for leaving me, when I was alone of course. One time I went to the cemetery and laid beside his grave and  yelled and cried because I was alone after 26 years and had no clue what to do. This phase didn’t last long.

If you are feeling this way, don’t feel guilty about your anger. It’s perfectly alright.

Your anger may be directed at the doctor, hospital, or EMT personnel. You may blame them for your loved one’s death, even when the fault doesn’t lie with them. Don’t get me wrong, I realize that in some cases the fault is with these folks, but usually it’s no one’s fault.

anger

Resentment towards God during this time can be common as well. You may think that you’re being punished for something. For others, God is their comfort and without Him they wouldn’t be able to get through this horrific time. If you are a believer, turn to God for strength and comfort.

And don’t forget your family members. They may not know what to say to make things better, but you need each other, so turn to them as well when you’re struggling with your emotions.

It’s possible that you will even get angry with yourself for not handling the issue the way you’ve seen others handle it, but death is not the same for every mourner. Don’t compare yourself to others; your situation is unique to you. We all must deal with tragedy in our own way.

There will be days when you’re mad at the world and not at  anyone or anything in particular. decoding angerYour anger may even be totally irrational. Don’t worry, you’re human, and this is going to happen. Just try not to lash out at your family or friends.

When you’re enraged try to work through your emotions rationally, take a deep breath, count to 10, or even scream for a few seconds (if you’re alone). Please know that you’re not crazy, you’re normal and this too shall pass. Try to remember that your loved one wouldn’t want you to be miserable-they would want you to try to be happy. Yes, this feels like a huge stretch at the beginning of your grief, but you will get there one day.

I have begun a Facebook page for widow/widower support. It’s early days, but I’m hoping it will be a help to those in need. Check it out here.

Stages of Grief-Denial is Normal

This is the first in a series of articles I’m writing on the stages of grief. I wish I could offer an easy way to get through the grieving process. There’s no magic potion, but I hope I can be of help with advice and understanding.

*Update 7/9/2016: Here’s where you can find my posts on the other stages of grief-anger, guilt, depression & acceptance.stages of grief

While some models consider there to be 5 stages of grief, others say 7. As I see it, there are 5 stages of grief, denial being the first of these. The other stages are anger, guilt/bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I’m not an expert but I have gone through the death of a partner twice and these are the stages in which I struggled.

Denial is the universal, absolute stage that everyone goes through. No one goes through every stage the same way. Some may be in denial for a month or two while others may get past it quickly; there’s no time limit. As long as you don’t lose grip on reality denial is perfectly normal. It guards and assists you in this first phase of your new life.

Denial presents itself in different ways. You may reject the idea that your loved one is gone; someone got their information wrong. You may think that any moment they will walk through the door and everything will have been a huge mistake. Sometimes we have to see our departed to be certain, and even then it can be too hard to accept.

As you’re making arrangements and attending the visitation and funeral, you may be on auto pilot. You know they’re gone and you’re heartbroken, but the whole thing still hasn’t sunk in yet. This is another form of denial. You’re not refusing to believe what has happened but you won’t let yourself reflect on your situation too much, either. You’re just getting through what has to be done. This is the mind’s way of protection, keeping you from dealing with too much shock at once.

As life goes on, you still may not allow yourself to think about what’s happened. It may take a while to get to the point where you can do so and allow yourself to deal with the raw grief. That kind of grief is powerful and scary. Denial allows you to get through the initial shock and still keep yourself together, giving you time to absorb what has happened and reach acceptance.

This first stage of grief is normal, and in my opinion, necessary. It temporarily protects you from the terrible truth, allowing you to muddle through until you’re emotionally strong enough to deal with what has happened.

Those close to you may not know what to say or do during this time, but don’t deal with your grief alone. Even though this stage is normal, as always, please seek professional help if your loss is too powerful to deal with on your own.  There are also support groups and websites with loads of information on grief. Although this journey is your own, it is helpful to know that the emotions you’re experiencing are normal and others are going through similar situations.

For more information visit grief.com or another of the many websites dealing with this issue.