There is the loss of jobs, relationships, health, possessions, and of course the ultimate loss of life. The grieving process can easily occur during all of these situations. I guess the idea I'm advocating has more to do with the experience itself then the reason for it.
What is the grieving process? Does it exist? Is there an order of how we must feel? Is it inherited? Is it something we do because the textbook dictates it? All of these questions have led me to writing this article. Most of the experts agree that there is definitely a coping mechanism in place which allows humans to respond to loss. Most research claims there is not right or wrong way to deal with loss and the textbooks have only managed to record the reactions found to be most commonly experiences by humans.
In fact Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Psychiatrist coined the five stages mostly repeated and most readily acceptable as the "Five Stages of the Grieving Process" http://www.helpguide.org/mental/grief_loss.htm. Those stages are the following:
1. Denial - This stage of disbelief and acceptance usually shows up as shock. The information is just too unhappy to accept on face value. often we even cry out "Oh, no!"
2. Anger - This is sometimes the armor used to guard against the pain. the feeling of helplessness becomes unbearable and so we shield our vulnerability behind anger.
3. Bargaining - We need to feel better and we begin to bargain by rationalizing and often times making promises.
4. Depression - This emotion often presents itself as sadness, worry, regret, anxiety, anguish, distress and heartache.
5. Acceptance - It seems to me this must be the hardest step to reach. Certainly it must be a very personal endeavor. The act of receiving and accepting bad news is undoubtedly easier for some than others.
Surrounding oneself with family, friends and other support groups can also be helpful in getting you through these dreadful times, but through all of the steps I can't help but believe that with faith you are more likely to be comforted. As Christians it helps to believe that grieving is a faith filled journey!
(For more information visit http://www.ekrfoundation.org/)