When we lose a loved one, the pain we experience can feel unbearable. Understandably, grief is complicated and we sometimes wonder if the pain will ever end. We go through a variety of emotional experiences such as anger, confusion, and sadness.
At some point in everyone’s life, there will be at least one encounter with grief. It may be from the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, the end of a relationship, or any other change that alters life as you know it.
In 1969, a Swiss-American psychiatrist named Elizabeth Kübler-Ross wrote in her book “On Death and Dying” that grief could be divided into five stages. Her observations came from years of working with terminally ill individuals.
The Grief Cycle
The five stages of grief may be the most widely known, but it’s far from the only popular stages of grief theory. Several others exist as well, including ones with seven stages and ones with just two. Other grief experts describe seven stages of grieving, specifically;
- shock or disbelief
The shock or disbelief stage is understood as the numbness often associated with initially receiving the news of the death of a loved one. The guilt stage of grief refers to feelings of regret about difficult aspects of the relationship with the deceased.
How to Begin the Process of Letting Go
If you struggle to move through the grieving process “as you should,” know that there is no right way to go through the process. It varies from person to person.
Stop and think to yourself: What am I holding on to? What am I actually afraid of?
Remember that feeling grief is a result of having deeply loved someone. Once the pain subsides it does not mean the person is loved any less. Wouldn’t they want you to live a fulfilling life?
It’s been said, “grief is just love with no place to go.” BUT, I challenge you to find a place to put that love and in the process, it can change the pain. Grief never really goes away entirely and really, it shouldn’t. You will always miss them, you will always remember them.
Working Through The Pain
Grief Therapy is one of my specialty areas. I would be honored to help you on your journey, as you struggle with coming to terms with your loss(es) and move forward in your life. You can work through your grief and pain and resume a functioning life. Book a time with me here.