The Stages of Loss and Grief

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How to deal with loss and grief is a problem experienced by people from all over the world, in all different cultures, nationalities and circumstances. From anger to depression, the emotional and physical fallout can go from one extreme to the next. Although you can never fully prepare yourself for loss or grief, having processes in place, such as seeking help from Super Claims Australia when a life insurance claim hits a snag, can ease the burden of dealing with everything on your own. Below are some of the stages of grief people can go through in the aftermath of unexpected death or illness.

Denial and Shock

Shock is a large part of loss and grief and can be seen as your body’s way of protecting itself from the pain it’s not quite ready to deal with. Some people will outright refuse to accept it, and others may completely withdraw from the world. It’s through this stage that you should allow assistance from outside sources such as friends and family until you can come to terms with what’s happened and start thinking clearly enough to make some decisions.

Seeing Red

Anger is a natural progression for dealing with any form of loss or grief, as it becomes your way of rationalising and directing what happened. However, the anger stage can spiral downwards very quickly as blame is placed where it shouldn’t be. And is made even worse when you start blaming yourself or the person you’ve lost. Try speaking to a doctor about the specific circumstances of your loss so you can rationalise it in that way instead.

Making a Deal

People can resort to measures of bargaining, blame and then punishment to make up for what they think they did to result in their loved one’s illness or death. Through this stage it’s not uncommon to make promises to a ‘higher power’, and you may find yourself continually asking the ‘what if’ question. You can easily drive yourself crazy with these sorts of ideas, so make sure you ask for help and talk to someone about how you’re feeling.

Highs and Lows

Depression and anxiety is another significant stage of loss and grief, and can affect people to quite extreme levels. Anxieties can range from practical concerns like added financial burdens, to the full emotional extent of continuing your life without your loved one. No one can tell you how or when to get through this stage as everyone experiences and deals with these obstacles differently. To be able to get to the final stage of acceptance where you can finally start to move forward is to make sure you give yourself plenty of time. Talk about it, cry about it, but always remember to be kind to yourself as you move through this grieving process.

The hardest part about loss and grief is that everyone experiences it differently, to different degrees and in any variety or order of stages. Although the above stages are fairly universal, there is no specific manual for coping. You just need to take it as it comes, be as prepared as possible and ask for help if you need it.

How have you helped someone through their own stages of grief? Include your comments in the space below.

Sarah Pinkerton

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