By: Linda Chapman
We are not alone in our grief. God hears our prayers and witnesses our tears. We may have plans for our lives, but God has The Plan. He knows our destiny. He holds “the big picture,” and we can rest in the comfort of this knowledge. Reaching out to family members, friends and professionals for support can be crucial through the grief recovery process.
Q: When can therapy be helpful in the grief recovery process?
A: Therapy is available anytime to help people who need a sounding board and a safe place to talk about their loss. Everyone grieves differently, and there is no one way to grieve. But when ongoing grief continues to stir you up, or you feel you’re having a hard time after a loss — It’s a good idea to check in. The ability to vent your feelings and feel deeply heard and validated can do wonders.
Sometimes people have endured a variety of losses, big and small, and perhaps a traumatic event or two. When fresh loss and grief is layered on top of these previous losses it can feel overwhelming. Talking through your feelings in therapy at such times can be very freeing and enable you to begin to move forward in a positive fashion.
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler Ross’s Five Stages of Grief:
- Denial – The initial stage.: “It can’t be happening.”
- Anger: “How dare you do this to me?!” (either referring to God, the deceased, or oneself)
- Bargaining: “Just let me live to see my son graduate.”
- Depression: “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”
- Acceptance: “I know my son will be in a better place”
Psychiatrist John Bowlby’s Stages of Grief
- Shock and denial
- Feelings of unreality, depersonalization, withdrawal, and an anesthetizing of affect.
- Volatile Reactions
- “Whenever one’s identity and social order face the possibility of destruction, there is a natural tendency to feel angry, frustrated, helpless, and/or hurt. The volatile reactions of terror, hatred, resentment, and jealousy are often experienced as emotional manifestations of these feelings.” (see the article entitled The Grieving Process by Michael R. Leming and George E. Dickinson)
- Disorganization and despair
- These are the processes, we normally associate with bereavement, the mourning and severe pain of being away from the loved person.
- Reorganization is the assimilation of the loss and redefining of life and meaning without the deceased.
I would be honored to help you navigate your time of grief. To make an appointment call 405-445-4332.
From Erich Fromm: To spare oneself from grief at all cost can be achieved only at the price of total detachment, which excludes the ability to experience happiness