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Going Through the Grief Proces After Any Type of Loss
by stephanie reck
3/06/2019 / Christian Living
Death is not the only experience you can grieve from, but anything that is perceived as some type of loss in your life. Grief can be defined as losing something or someone significant in your life, or not experiencing the hopes and dreams for your life.
I realized this week that I was experiencing grief over the relationship that I could have had with my mother. A few months ago, my mother moved close to where I lived to escape an abusive relationship and we quickly developed a close relationship that we had not had before. However, very abruptly she decided to go back to the relationship that was abusive to her. I had no warning, I was not prepared for her sudden departure. Since her leaving I have experienced anger, irritability, frustration, fatigue, hormonal imbalance, emotional numbness, anxiety, cynicism, loss of hope, and overall sadness. I did not realize until this week that I had been going through the grief process. Afterall, I did not lose anyone to death so I was not making the connection I was experiencing grief.
Any type of loss can have your emotions on a “roller-coaster” ride. What defines loss to one may not be perceived as loss to another. However, whatever has caused a vacancy in your life is loss.
Some examples of loss can include:
loss of significant relationships
loss of a job
loss of health
There are usually (5) stages of the grieving process, and one must work through the stages to properly heal and not get stuck in grief. It is possible not to heal properly and allow the grief that you are experiencing to define you in every area of your life.
The (5) stages of grief are:
- Denial- is a common defense mechanism that buffers any immediate shock of loss, and numbs your emotions. During this time, you hide from the facts. During this stage you may believe that life is meaningless, and nothing is of value any longer.
- Anger- As the masking effects of denial begin to wear off, the reality and pain re-emerge. The anger experienced during this stage can be directed at complete strangers, friends, or family. You may resent the person who caused you pain or left your life.
- Bargaining- This is a normal reaction to feelings of helplessness and is often a need to regain control through thoughts such as, “if only I had…” Guilt often accompanies bargaining.
- Depression- During this phase you may experience a lose of pleasure, hopelessness, and sadness.
- Acceptance- Reaching this stage is important for your healing. Working through the above stages can help to eventually get you to the stage of process.
People who are grieving do not necessarily go through the stages in the same order or experience all of them. There is no timetable for working through grief, for some it can be weeks and others several months before you begin to feel better.
The pain of grief can disrupt not only your physical health but your mental and spiritual health. The pain will not go away faster if you ignore it or keep it from resurfacing.
For real healing, it is necessary to face your grief and deal with it.
- Give yourself a time period to give full attention to the memory of the loss, however, you should draw a line on prolonged grieving. Give yourself a time period, maybe a few days to a week to work through the sadness. Wallowing week after week will keep you stuck in your grief.
- Let your pain out, let the tears flow, and find an outlet for your pain. Share your feelings with your spouse, a trusted friend or family member. Talking through your emotions helps you to sort out your feelings. Write or journal your pain. Express your emotions to God.
- Distance yourself from those who are not compassionate or understanding to your grief. Hearing words from people like, “Your too sensitive,” or “It’s not that big of a deal,” can hinder your healing process.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. Psalm 34: 17-20
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