Loss is difficult whether it be a loved one, a pet, even the loss of a special place can cause grief and sadness. Although everyone will experience loss throughout their life its always beneficial to understand the grief process. When one is going through the grief process it often gets difficult to think “will this feeling ever pass”. In addition, when we grieve it effects all the people around us as well as close relationships. Let’s take a look at the stages of grief first and then how you can overcome and find happiness again.
Denial: I call this the initial shock period. Thoughts of “Is this really happening” or “Is this a dream” are just some of many thoughts during the initial period.
Anger: Once the shock and denial lessen, the most common feeling for people is anger. Why did this happen? What did I do to deserve this? Anger is a common emotion when one feels out of control of a situation and loss is one of those times.
Bargaining:Bargaining deals with the "should have could have and what if’s." If only he didn’t get in that car that evening or if only we went to the doctor earlier.
Depression: Depression is a feeling that comes like a wave of sadness, hopelessness, isolation, loss of appetite, poor sleeping. This can happen for many reasons but loss is one of those reasons. Often in this stage, seeking a therapist is very helpful. It requires help through talk therapy and often an anti-depressant.
Acceptance: Those who don’t seek help for their depression often never reach the final stage of acceptance. But, in order to “live again” or make a different life after loss this final stage is imperative. I have worked with many whom after a major loss i.e. (loss of husband or wife) give up on living altogether become isolated and no longer want to participate in activities. In essence, they die too. But, with that they are no longer available to those who still need and love them. It may be their children, friends, or extended family.
You might be asking how does one go on after loss? Get help. Reach out to those who care. Talk about your loss. Talk about the memories. The good times. Participate in life again. Surround yourself with people you like and who are friends who listen. Seek professional help if need be. Volunteer to do something meaningful. Feeling your pain is crucial in recovering from grief. Life will never be what it was yesterday but you can make a new today. Embrace your memories, keep them alive by sharing, and create new memories.
Deborah Bruno, LCSW is a Psychotherapist practicing in Aventura and Boca Raton. In addition, Deborah services Delray Beach and Boynton Beach. Most major medical insurance including Medicare. For more information please contact her at 305-905-7177.
2627 Northeast 203rd Street #214, Aventura FL
8000 N. Federal Hwy Suite 117 Boca Raton Florida 33487