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UNDERSTANDING GRIEF AND BEREAVEMENT


The stages of grief There are three classical stages when we suffer a serious loss.  Stage 1.  This stage has three components:  Shock   These are "The Oh, My God!" feelings that flood us when we hearbad news. Denial  –  Not wanting to accept that this tragedy actually occurred, we mayat first say to ourselves, "I don't believe it!" or "This just can't be true!"And we may go on, doing our best to rationalize away the unwanted news:"I just saw aunt Jody a week ago. She was looking and feeling fine." or "It must be another Jody Smith. I'm sure someone made a mistake." \

Bargaining – Seeking a way out of having to accept the unwelcome, unwanted news, we may plead: "Please, God, let it not be so!" or "I'll say 10 prayers and donate a tenth of my earnings to the church if this turns out to not be true."This stage normally lasts a few minutes, but may persists for up to a day –as the news slowly sinks in.

 Stage 2.  This is the stage most recognized a grief, which also has three components.  Sadness, crying, depression and a deep sense of loss the whole spectrum we normally associate with grief. There may also be sleeplessness, nightmares, tiredness, loss of appetite, loss of interest in work and recreational activities, difficulties concentrating and remembering, restlessness, feeling very intense longing for the departed person in what used to be intimate situations – such as at the dining table, in bed, or when participating in various activities or visiting special places. You may think obsessively about the person who is no longer there; may feel listlessness and discouragement; may wish you were dead, and might even think about hurting or killing yourself.It may be difficult to be with others because of your constant, deep sadness.Either you or they may find communications strained at these times.

10 Why must conversions always come so late?Why do people always apologize to corpses? - David Brin  Anger At the person who 'abandoned' us; • At ourselves for having said or done things we wish we had not said ordone; • At ourselves for not having said or done things we wish we had notsaid or done; • At God for taking the person, or for inviting/allowing the person toleave their earthly existence; • At ourselves for feeling guilty over things said or done; • At others for having possibly contributed to the death of the departed; • At others for their lack of understanding of your distress; for saying insensitive things; for staying away from you; for not helping you as you helped them in the past, or would have helped them had the circumstances been reversed… • At relatives who focus on issues that you consider minor or irrelevant, or who argue with you over funeral and burial arrangements. • At minor issues that make no sense at all, but which trigger intense angers in you. Guilt - Over having said or done things we wish we had not said or done; • Over having said or done things we wish we had not said or done; • Over not having said or done things we wish we had said or done; • For having dared to be angry with God; • For being a burden on others in our morass of distress during thisawkward time of grief and bereavement.This stage generally lasts about several months to two years, with gradually decreasing intensity. There may often be a lot of ups and downs along theway to Stage 3. More on this below. Stage 3.  Reintegrating ourselves in a world without the person who is gone. Resolution - We return to our lives, adapting and adjusting to living without the presence of the departed. This involves the slow and gradual letting goof our emotional connections and habits of relating to those who died. The process is a fluctuating one, punctuated by flows and ebbs of emotions, as mentioned above.Increasingly, we recall the happy times we had with the departed person rather than the sadness of their no longer being with us or the unfinished business between us.Looking at the stage of Resolution from the opposite perspective, it is a process marked by rays of light that are increasing in duration and intensity.The same caution applies here: Please be patient with yourself. You are likely to feel repeatedly that you are finished with the sadness, angers and guilts – only to be frustrated and annoyed when you cannot hold onto the sense of having returned to your usual, pre-bereavement self.These ups and downs are absolutely normal and expected. Waves of grief may hit you unexpectedly, even years after the death of someone dear to you. You may find a possession, a letter, a computer file or a photo of the person who is no longer there – stimulating you to clear a neglected corner in the file drawers of your memories. The more you use WHEE, the easier you will find this task.Stage 3 overlaps broadly with stage 2, and may commonly extend for several more months or a few years. The death of a child often takes longer to adjust to than deaths of adults.Moving forward through the stage of resolution, one may come to appreciate the blessings of a thorough and deep working through of the grief process.Nothing in our lives is permanent. Everything is transient.Having learned to deal with a major grief, we become sensitized to the many little griefs of everyday life. • Every goodbye is a little death – the end of a period of time shared with others, or of time spent in a favorite activity or place. • Every song, sonata and concert performance must come to an end, making each note more precious. • Every flower is cherished because we know it will soon die. Its transiency is a major factor in its beauty and its gifts to us. • Every delicious meal is savored for its special tastes, knowing we will never have exactly the same stimulations of our tastebuds again. Every parting is a form of death, as every reunion is a type of heaven. - Tryon Edwards

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