Understanding the Grieving Process

Understanding the Grieving Process

June 16, 2020

There is never any good time for someone we care about to pass away, but when a loved one dies, the grieving process can be confusing even as you’re going through it. On top of that, well-meaning friends and family might say the wrong thing in an attempt to comfort you, eliciting unexpected reactions. Understanding grief and coping with loss in Phillipsburg, NJ is key to realizing that you’re not alone and even what you believe are your strangest emotions or reactions are perfectly normal.

The five stages of grief

The five stages of grief were outlined in 1969 by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross—and they’re not limited to responses to death. Anything can trigger the grieving process, and despite what you may have heard, many people experience these stages “out of order” and multiple times, albeit usually in less intense waves. In fact, you might not go through every stage on the list.

The five stages consist of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, and different people will go through different stages, even if they’re grieving the same person that died. This depends on the individual experiences, beliefs and lives. For example, your Aunt Bertha might have been your favorite aunt and you can’t believe she’s gone (denial), but her daughter Dorcas has been in the anger stage for weeks because she believes medical malpractice is to blame. Psychologists warn that we should avoid judging how people grieve, including placing strict timelines on how long it’s “okay” to be sad.

Symptoms of grief

People not only experience emotional grief, which can manifest in myriad ways, but there’s a physical component as well. Nausea, fatigue, weight changes, insomnia and even body aches are all symptoms of grief, while sadness, depression, anger, guilt, fear and relief often accompany a loss. You may experience these in “rollercoaster”-like waves, with intense highs and lows accompanying important dates and milestones. The most important thing to remember is that it’s okay to feel whichever way you currently feel—and that with time, it will pass.

What to do to ease the grieving process

If you or someone you know is grieving a loss, it can be difficult to say the right thing or know what to do. First, if you are in a position to seek counseling, it can be beneficial for a neutral third party to guide you through coping with your loss in Phillipsburg, NJ. Even when you want to hide, it’s important to reach out for help, whether from a professional or your family and friends.

You may also choose to join a support group, which are often organized by type of loss—loss of a spouse, loss of a parent and loss of a family member are some of the most common types. These can help you meet people going through similar situations, reminding you that you’re not alone—and that there’s hope for recovery.

Phillipsburg Memorial Company is dedicated to providing long-lasting, high-quality cemetery markers and memorial monuments. Call us today for more information about understanding grief in Phillipsburg, NJ or to discuss your memorial needs.

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