Kubler Ross’s five stages of grieving; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, are now considered more appropriate for coming to terms with dying. If a person is grieving someone’s death then the four steps of reconciling may be more relevant. These four stages are;
- Accept the reality of the loss.
- Allow yourself to deal with the pain. Feel it. Don’t deny the hurt.
- Ask yourself, “How do I keep living and doing what I need to do?”
- Tell yourself that you cannot just adjust, but also make a wonderful life. It will not be the same, but it can be wonderful in a different way.
People who have nursed a partner through their whole illness to their death may experience feelings or thoughts around; who will look after me when it comes to my turn?
Some people fear they will forget the voice of someone who they have lost. They may keep a recording or not wipe the answering machine. It’s normal to feel anger and abandonment if you have recently lost someone close to you.
Healing begins when you:
- Express your feelings.
- Are patient with yourself.
- Stay alert to your physical needs.
- Learn more about grief and its effects.
- Ask for help when needed.
For many people coming to terms with grief and loss can be a long and difficult process. Counselling can assist you coming to terms with a major loss in your life.
Christopher Swane - Grief and Loss Counselling - Wellington New Zealand