The Psychological Stages of Grief
The words sorrow and heartache are often used to describe the feelings of grief. Grief can be associated with the death of a loved one and/or family pet. Grief is a natural response to loss. It is the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away. The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief will be. Regardless, when losing someone or something valuable, some level of grief will follow. According to studies grief can release a number of complications upon the body if it is not handled in the proper manner. Grief is known to have five psychological stages which are denial, bargaining, anger, depression, and acceptance. (Love, 2007 p.76) The first stage of grief is denial. Denial is the act of declaring something is untrue, refusing or disbelieving the truth. In this stage, there is a lot of shock, numbness and uncontrollable feelings. Denial is not saying “No, she is not dead” nor “I don’t believe you”, denial is more of “I just cannot believe this has happened.” Many believe denying something will take away the pain. In the stages of grief, denial is most common. Denial is common because no one really wants to accept the fact that their loved one is gone. (Lancaster) The second stage of grief is anger. When losing someone or something valuable, people are usually angry, or upset at the world. During this time, many mixed emotions and a lot of frustration is present. Frustration gives way to anger, and it can cause people to lash out and lay unwarranted blame for the death on someone or something else. Anger can present itself in a lot of ways that may include anger at loved one for “leaving too soon”, at others, and even at God for allowing this to happen. Anger can sometimes turn into guilt, guilt that something else could have been done and the loved one would have remained on this earth. (Lancaster 277-81) The third stage of grief is bargaining. Bargaining is...
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