Dealing with Grief

Grief is inevitable. Grief can be a result of loss of something tangible or intangible. It helps to recognize that disappointments, abuse, one's limitations, losing a job, or many other issues can elicit a grief response. People suffering a loss need time to grieve, some might take longer than others.

The loss of a loved one is no doubt the biggest emotional setback one gets and it takes a lot of time to come out of the situation. Death is probably the biggest truth of nature. Grief is a deeply personal and traumatic experience and we cannot deny or diminish the feeling of loss created by death. However, we will still need to know how to deal with the sorrow and grieve.

There are stages in grieving, though each person's experience can be different. A person in mourning may not experience these stages sequentially. Someone may feel several of the stages described here but others may not. Another may experience various stages simultaneously. And having already gone through a certain stage doesn't mean one can't return to it.

Denial. When one experiences denial, his physical responses might include sweating, passing out, nausea or a racing heart, just as with any other victim of shock. The mind and emotions become overwhelmed. Some simply may not be able to deal with the reality of death, while others may withdraw from the world around them and yet others may feel as though they must be having a bad dream and that they'll soon awaken from it. Perhaps this is God's way of providing us a protective buffer. It's during this time that we can begin to sort out and process our feelings at our own pace and comfort level.

Several things need to be considered at this stage of the grieving process. First, it helps to talk about one's feelings and thoughts. People need time to heal, and to be taken care of. It helps to encourage them to talk about their grief.

At distressing times like these, the support of friends and loving family is invaluable. No matter how deep their sorrow, people need a reassurance that they are not alone. The person who is grieving often losses sight of the need to take care of themselves physically and emotionally, caring for their health and well-being is often the last thing on their mind.

During times of grief, it is easy to feel emotionally and physically depleted. Those who have suffered the loss need to watch their diet, avoid fast food and eat well-balanced, nutritious meals and exercise. Excercise is good for relieving stress buildup and discharging anger and frustration. It helps the appetite and promotes better sleep. Exercise can be as simple as a 30-minute walk several times a week. Sleeping well is yet another way to care of one's body because grieving is exhaustive.

Anger. Denial is often followed by anger. It is our natural tendency to want to blame somebody-anybody-for our loss and pain. This anger is often not rational. We might find ourselves angry with the deceased, even if the person died through no fault of his or her own, because of what the loss is doing to us. We might be angry with the doctor, family members or even God. We may blame God for not having intervened in the situation and prevent the death. This anger may also lead to feelings of guilt.

Anger is a powerful emotion. It can lead to negative behavior or be harnessed for our own benefit. We can take the energy our anger generates and channel it into positive action. This is where anger management becomes important. Taking up a new hobby or perhaps continuing our education by enrolling in some evening classes can help us positively channel our emotions. An outstanding way to displace anger is to be of service to others. Helping others will ease their burdens and lighten our emotional load during our grieving.

Bargaining. In the bargaining stage some want to play let's make a deal with God. They imagine that if they promise to do something, God will in return do things the way they used to be. At this point, those grieving often begin their pursuit of understanding the death of their loved one. This is a normal part of the healing process. They come to realize that there is no bargaining with death. It is only through acceptance of the facts that the reality of death can be turned into hope and positive action.

In their pursuit of understanding, those who have suffered loss should not leave out the source of information that has the answers to the questions they ask regarding death - The Bible.

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