Dealing With Grief
Nobody wants to experience the death of someone they care about. It hurts. It’s inevitable that we will live through the death of someone we truly love. Even celebrity deaths can stir up a lot of tough feelings for people. Whether it’s your favorite singer or your grandmother that dies, there is no easy way to get through it. What you’re experiencing is grief.
There are 5 stages of grief:
- Denial - (I don’t believe they are really gone)
- Anger - (I’m so angry that they are gone)
- Bargaining - (I promise I’ll change if they come back)
- Depression - (I feel hopeless about my future without them)
- Acceptance - (I can go on with my life and deal with their absence)
Most people that experience a death go through these stages. Not everyone experiences them in the same order and some people stay in one stage longer than others. For example, one person may be in denial about a death for a few days, but stay angry for several months. Another person may only feel angry for a week, but feel depressed for much longer.
It’s very important to remember that everyone experiences grief differently. There is no specific way to feel grief. Let’s say one of your friends dies in a car accident. You may experience it much “harder” than your other friends, or you may seem unaffected while everyone around you is struggling to get through it. After you acknowledge that you are grieving, what do you do about it?
What can you do about grief?
Talk to someone about how you feel. Bottling things up will only make you feel depressed and alone. Chances are many people are feeling the same way you are.
Write a letter to the person that died. When you’re done, either stash it away or rip it up. It feels good to talk to the person (even if it’s on paper.)
Share great memories of that person with friends or family members. Plan a meal or gathering where you can each share your favorite memory of that person and how they made your life better.
Make a Memory Box or Book. You can include pictures, stories, or other things that remind you of that person. Pull it out when you want to think about them and connect with your feelings. When you are done, put the book or box away to pull out again at another time.
It’s ok to feel sad and hurt. Don’t try to stuff, hide, or ignore your feelings. If you get so sad that it begins to affect your daily life, it’s time to ask someone for help.