Thursday, May 29, 2014

Grief


Grief. It's something I've been struggling with since Angel passed. Trying to come to terms with it is difficult.  The depth to which I miss her is impossible to put into words.  She was such a large part of my world.  Without her I feel as if a part of my heart and soul is missing.  The sadness can feel overwhelming some days.

Yet grief  is something no one can avoid in life.  As horrible as it is to experience it usually means one loved some one or something deeply.  And that kind of love is what makes life worth living.  

Let's face it grief is a natural response to death or loss. At some point every one will sustain the loss of a close loved one. But that's not the only kind of loss that can cause grief. People can feel loss when: they become separated from a loved one, they lose a job, position, or income, a pet dies or is lost, kids leave home or they experience a major change in life such as getting a divorce, moving, or retiring. There are many life changes and stages that can bring grief on.

While we all experience grief and loss, each of us is unique in the ways we cope with our feelings.

There are said to be five stages.  Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.  They reflect common reactions people have as they try to make sense of a loss. An important part of the healing process is experiencing and accepting the feelings that come as a result of the loss.

Denial, numbness, and shock: Numbness is a normal reaction to a death or loss and should never be confused with "not caring." This stage of grief helps protect the individual from experiencing the intensity of the loss. It can actually be useful when the grieving person has to take some action such as planning a funeral, notifying relatives, or reviewing important papers. As the individual moves through the experience and slowly acknowledges its impact, the initial denial and disbelief will diminish.

Bargaining: This stage of grief may be marked by persistent thoughts about what could have been done to prevent the death or loss. Some people become obsessed with thinking about specific ways things could have been done differently to save the person's life or prevent the loss. If this stage of grief is not dealt with and resolved, the individual may live with intense feelings of guilt or anger that can interfere with the healing process.

Depression: In this stage of grief, people begin to realize and feel the true extent of the death or loss. Common signs of depression in this stage include difficulty sleeping, poor appetite, fatigue, lack of energy, and crying spells. The individual may also experience self-pity and feel lonely, isolated, empty, lost, and anxious.

Anger: This stage of grief is common. It usually occurs when an individual feels helpless and powerless. Anger can stem from a feeling of abandonment because of a death or loss. Sometimes the individual is angry at a higher power, at the doctors who cared for the loved one, or toward life in general.

Acceptance: In time, an individual can move into this stage of grief and come to terms with all the emotions and feelings that were experienced when the death or loss occurred. Healing can begin once the loss becomes integrated into the individuals set of life experiences.

Throughout a person's lifetime, he or she may return to some of the earlier stages of grief, such as depression or anger. Because there are no rules or time limit to the grieving process, each individuals healing process will be different.

Found myself experiencing at least four of the stages at some point, though acceptance is the one I'm not so sure of.  And don't believe such feelings ever go away, some how we just learn to live life in spite them. Depending on ones belief the hope of some day being reunited with our loved ones gives many the hope and strength to carry on. Though life is never quite the same.

The love we shared is something I will always hold in my heart, my little soul mate changed my life in so many positive ways. She taught me so much. Just wish we had more time together because 13 years wasn't nearly enough, nor would 100 be.  Still so many more things I wish we could have done and shared together.  Some things I would have even done differently as well.  Most of all hope she knows how very much she is loved.  Feelings of grief may overwhelm us but the profound love she brought to my life will always reside in my heart and soul.

Truth is even in grief there are things to be learned.  Most importantly.....life is short.  Spend it with those you  love, express love every chance you get and most importantly live a life you love!

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