Grief and loss are synonymous, one with the other. It is natural in our human lives to grieve when we lose something or someone that is precious to us. The level of grief, however, intensifies with that which is lost. If we lose our favorite watch, there is a brief moment of grief because it belonged to us, and after all, it was our favorite. If we lose our home in a fire or natural disaster there is a level of emotional grief involved. Many irreplaceable things of sentimental value have been lost along with our dwelling place in which we lived.
However, the death of a loved one brings about the most intense form of grief and is the most difficult to walk through. To be void of all forms of contact with a person can cause sorrow, anger, guilt, anxiety, and depression. These feelings are a normal part of the grieving process, but they can become problematic to an individual who finds themselves “stuck” in them. It’s hard to put a time limit on another person’s grief, but when it becomes all-consuming for years on end, clearly there is a problem.
Healthy grieving allows us to travel through the different stages of grief and come out on the other side accepting the “new normal” that is our life now without the person we lost. According to an article on Psychcentral.com, these stages are denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. People who are grieving do not necessarily go through all of these stages or experience them in the same order.
After walking through the grieving process, one should be able to think about or talk about the person with a smile, remembering the life they lived as well as their contribution to society.
Walking through grief and loss allows us to take the time to process every emotion in whatever manner is necessary for that particular individual. When the time of grieving is over, a new person should emerge – one who has reconciled the fact that their loved one is not coming back, but it’s okay for them to carry on without them.