Grief

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Dealing with the Death of a Loved One
Dealing with the death of a loved one is a difficult time that, unfortunately, everyone must go through at some point. Most of us never think of how to deal with the loss of our loved ones until we are faced with the reality of death. It is one of the harsh realities that are commonly faced without training or education; learning to accept that we do not get over a loss, rather, learn to live with it. The experience of such a loss can assist individuals in accepting their grief response as a journey. The stages of mourning are universal and are experienced differently depending on many circumstances that the mourner is experiencing. As an example in The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion attempts to come to terms with her grief over the sudden death of her husband.

After losing my father, I have learned there are five stages of grief: denial/shock, pain/guilt, anger, depression, and acceptance. There are books, novels, poems that iterate each stage of grief. These resources benefit out the mourner greatly. After losing my father and many therapy sessions I discovered the grief stages; not everyone who has lost a loved one has to experience every stage, there isn’t one correct way to come to the conclusion of acceptance. Consequently, there are different resources available besides therapists and psychologists whom can help. Getting the help is the first step. Didion went through stages of grief after losing her husband. Though, Didion experienced more sadness due to also having Quintana in the hospital terminally ill. Everyone goes through different stages; some can bypass some stages and get through acceptance fairly quickly. Experiencing any of these emotions following a loss, may help to know that the reaction is natural and that it will heal in time. “There is no pain that will last 100 years, nevertheless, a body that will sustain the pain,” I remember hearing this quote from my parents as I was growing up. However, not everyone who grieves goes through all of these stages, and that’s okay. It took Didion one year and one day to accept her loss (227). It took me five months to accept my father was gone, and from that moment on I wasn’t in denial any longer. When I lost my father, I learned on my own there are two levels of acceptance. The first, intellectual acceptance, and is easy to come by. We can acknowledge the death of a loved one. However, emotional acceptance is a different story, it takes a much longer time because it involves the process of withdrawing our emotional investment in the physical presence of the loved one. I would go to sleep many times at night thinking that the next day I would see my father in the morning in his garden as I did every morning. Though, every morning I would miss him more and more. Accepting he was gone took away the anger I had built inside of me. As a result of accepting his death I slowly started moving on with my life. Dealing with the death of a loved one is a difficult time that, unfortunately, everyone must go through at some point. Most of us never think of how to deal with the loss of our loved ones until we are faced with the reality of death. It is one of the harsh realities that are commonly faced without training or education; learning to accept that we do not get over a loss, rather, learn to live with it. The experience of such a loss can assist individuals in accepting their grief response as a journey. The stages of mourning are universal and are experienced differently depending on many circumstances that the mourner is experiencing.

It is the hardest experience to accept the death of a loved one, especially with a sudden death. Accepting the reality tends to take much longer to process due to the overwhelming disbelief that impacts the individual. The major task of mourning the death of a loved one is acceptance. That is, accepting the reality that the loved one is no longer with you...
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