A few months ago, I was told that one of my friends had passed away in a terrible accident. Being far away from the situation, it was rather difficult for me to cope with this reality. I found comfort in knowing that even though I was far away from the friend, I could still find ways of communicating with friends and family. Several months later, I noticed when speaking with friends, that they were having similar symptoms as I was having while dealing with death, but with very different causes.
There is a natural cycle when dealing with the loss of someone. The first phase in the cycle is Avoidance. People may not want to believe the event has happened, or may directly deny that the event has happened. This cycle can cause feelings of numbness and grieving. The second stage is Confrontation. In the confrontation phase a sense of longing and reminiscing of the lost individual occurs. The main feelings in this stage are deep sadness and restlessness. The final stage is Accommodation. In this stage the individual realizes that life can continue with a new role and relationship without forgetting the lost individual.
This is the process I saw myself going through. However, there are three common situations I notice cause a similar cycle. Below are three common situations where the grief cycle is commonly not recognized.
1- Loss of friends. If you are close to a friend and due to geographic separation or inability to keep closeness, you may be faced with grief.
2- Life stage development. It is ordinary that we go through different life cycles. When you find yourself in a new position of life, it is natural for grief to take place. It is not a loss of someone, but it is a loss of something, a part of yourself. Give yourself time to accept the change in life position. . If you are going from being single to married, there might be a grieving process. If you are changing from parent to grandparent, a grieving process may occur. Any example where your roles or environment are drastically different may cause an onset of grief.
3- Loss of a job. - A job is a form of identity and purpose. Loosing a job may cause grief. Allow yourself time to go through the process.
Grief is an expected way of our bodies coping with a loss. Look for the phases of avoidance, confrontation, and acceptance in your life. You might need to go through the grieving process.
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